E-Filing vs. Filing on Paper: Pros and Cons of Each Method
Feb 26, 2020 08:49
Death and taxes are two things that are certain in life. As unfortunate as that may be, you can’t evade them. Filing a tax return can be complicated and confusing, especially if you do it the traditional way (on paper). A lot of folks prefer doing it the traditional paper forms but that could just come from experience. Contrasting this, there are a lot of free tax software programs available that are reputable and up-to-date with current tax legislation. With good preparation, your tax filing experience can be made easier regardless of which method you use. Here are the pros and cons of each approach:
E-Filing vs. Paper filing
Electronic filing or better known as E-Filing, involves submitting your returns via the internet. Paper filing, on the other hand, refers to sending the returns via mail.
Advantages of E-filing
If you want your papers to be processed quickly, the best way to do it is via E-file. According to the IRS, an electronic file will be processed in 1 or 2 days. As such, you can get your refunds in about three weeks if the return was relatively simple without itemized deductions and via direct deposit. As for the paper filing, expect a refund up to 6 weeks later.
With E-filing, you get fast, immediate confirmation that they have received your returns. If there is a problem in the filing, you will get a notice within a day or two so that you can make necessary adjustments.
Record keeping is more comfortable with E-filing since digital files are easier to store, query, and refer to when need be. This way, you can use special programs that can draw data from your previous returns, thereby making the process that much easier.
Cons of E-filing
Unfortunately, some tax situations are too complicated, and therefore the IRS needs a paper trail. Some states have community property rules that need tax returns to be done on paper. Furthermore, some of the tax forms aren't supported by the Modernized e-File (MeF) System
Although we take measures to keep our computers safe, they aren't usually entirely so. Some people file these returns with the help of third-party partners. Because of this, you can't be altogether sure this data cannot be hacked.
Advantages of paper filing
Unlike electronic records, paper files pose a much less security risk than digital records. Since you are writing down on paper, your personal information such as your social security number, name, and address aren't available over the internet.
2.Easy to do
You don’t need to be tech-savvy to file on paper. Some people prefer to use pen and paper for their returns so that they don't make any mistakes in the process.
Cons of paper filing
Since filing on paper requires you to mail the paperwork, processing the documents takes longer. These documents have to reach the IRS and then get processed. You shouldn't be surprised if your refund takes weeks to obtain.
While filing returns might seem complicated, it is easy with proper tools and help. For instance, if you need a proper calculator to estimate how much you will be paying, here is a remarkable income tax calculator.
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