Dave Ramsey Advice On Credit Cards – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on 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. 

If 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. In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever 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 Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are 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 your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
    2. Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax prep 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 submitted through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really stable?

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

“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as 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 the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.

Bottom line

For most 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 easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.