Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct 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.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because 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 sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.