Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation 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 doesn’t send any acknowledgment 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem 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,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not 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 easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.