Checkup Dave Ramsey – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes? 

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you 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. 

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system 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 information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

    It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.