Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood 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.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. 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.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected 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 worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.