Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case 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 if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive 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 process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, 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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.