Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will 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 types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.