Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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 can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.