Is e-filing really a better way to record 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.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are 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 your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily 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 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.