Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment 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’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing 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 lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.