Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits 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 confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours 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 may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. 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 find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.