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

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

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

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

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes 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 is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.

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

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

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

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

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. 
  • 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 licensed 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 favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

    It’s 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 internet connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.