Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice 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 has been received within 24 hours of digital 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 get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors 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 is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 choices. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.