Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds 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 Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice 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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.