Dave Ramsey 401K Advice – 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 precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

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

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there 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 requirements.

If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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 may also speed up the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following 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 a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — 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 advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since 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 safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

    It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.

    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 dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.