Dave Ramsey 52 Week Money Challenge – 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 precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  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 advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very 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 expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.