Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could 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 digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier 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 funds 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 option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options 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. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a 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 file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.