Dave Ramsey Baby Step 6 – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re 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.  E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may 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 whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours 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 weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will 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 easy.

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program 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 can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help 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 most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.