Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed 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 do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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 information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected 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 safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can 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 safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.