Chris Locurto Dave Ramsey – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.

If you’re 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 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    3. Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but 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.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really secure?

      While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

      “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”

      Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

      It’s important to use a trustworthy 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 many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.