Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually 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 advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to 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 send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records. 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 advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s 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 online connection which isn’t private.
For most 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 choices. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.