Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. 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 errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when 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. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, 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 penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than 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 safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than 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. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.
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 easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.