Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us 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 obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, 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 — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data 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 ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service to 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 submit 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 trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.