Is It Safe to E-file Your Tax Return?

E-file is a safe and fast way to submit your tax returns

woman doing taxes online
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When you E-file your taxes, you don't have to deal with paper forms, envelope stuffing and the postage to file your return. You are, however, electronically transmitting your sensitive personal financial and tax data, as well as your credit card or bank account numbers if you owe the IRS or you are due for a refund.

You may be asking: Is E-file safe when submitting your tax returns?

The short answer is yes, E-filing is very safe for submitting your tax returns.

The chances are extremely remote that your income tax data could be stolen when you E-file—it is more secure than mailing a tax return via snail mail, because an E-filed return is encrypted to prevent any access to data as it moves between your tax software and the IRS or state tax agency.

Verify Tax Software E-file Policy

If you still have concerns about E-filing your tax return, visit the website of the tax software you want to use and read their privacy policy. Search their support pages to learn more about the technology they use for E-filing. The tax software should guarantee that it uses the most secure technology available. If you are considering filing a state return electronically, be sure the tax software information includes the same security for state tax agencies.

If you haven't decided which tax software you want to use to complete your return, check out reviews of 18 of the most popular tax software applications that are available to find the one you are most comfortable with.

More Reasons to E-file

Mail gets lost or stolen: Your tax return can get lost in the mail, while an E-filed return doesn't have that problem. File electronically, and you get quick confirmation that your tax return has been submitted successfully, as well as confirmation that it has been accepted by the IRS.

Know when your refund will be deposited: If you have a tax refund coming, your tax software can usually tell you when your refund is being processed and when to expect your refund to be deposited.

No number errors: Prepare your tax return on paper, and you may make an error in calculations or when transferring numbers to your tax forms. Income tax software is required to offer the option to E-file, and the software will do all the tax calculations—it will even double-check the numbersprior to submitting the return.

E-filed returns do not pass through human hands: When you mail in a tax return, someone at the IRS has to enter or scan your data into their systems. Keying errors and technical problems can interfere with getting your taxes filed properly. When you E-file, your data goes directly into the IRS systems, bypassing the chance for human error.

The IRS prefers E-file: Starting with tax year 2010, the IRS stopped mailing Form 1040, Schedule A and other tax-related forms to tax payers.

This saves around $10 million per year and, according to the IRS, paper forms are becoming obsolete. 

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