Dave Ramsey 2020 – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish 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 around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy 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 by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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) will result in interest and penalties.

  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’ll have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

    It is important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to 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’s the most convenient way to file 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 dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.