Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours 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 can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since 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 safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.