Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 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 less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with all these 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,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 options. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.