Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds 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 option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.