Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours 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 may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting 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 means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred 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 software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may 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 email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.