This is part 3 of my posts about tax software. Other parts in this series:
Part III: E-File or Mail?
In previous years, both TurboTax and TaxCut included one free Federal e-file rebate in their deluxe edition and up. This year e-file costs extra. The IRS doesn’t charge the vendors for e-file. So the e-file charge is just another revenue driver for the vendors.
Even when they had the free e-file rebate in previous years, I always printed out my return and mailed it at the post office. Why? Because I care about the security of my tax data. When you e-file, your software doesn’t talk to the IRS directly. It uploads the data to the e-file provider’s computer and they e-file it for you. Why do I want my data on someone else’s computer? What happens to my data after that? I don’t know. Again, they can’t lose my data if they didn’t have my data in the first place. The cost of stealing mail is a lot higher for the thieves than the cost of hacking computers. The yield is a lot lower too. If a thief overseas wants to steal my tax return in the mail, they will have to first come to this country, intercept the mails, sift through all of them and grab what’s useful to them. If a hacker wants to score some tax return data, they will do it from the comfort of their desk.
E-file gets the refund faster? True, but I think my data security is worth much more than the small interest on the refund.