Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.