Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s 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 affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital 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 be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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 interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “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 data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.