Is e-filing a better way to file 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent 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 yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then 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 so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed 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 a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.