Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the 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.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade 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, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.