Dave Ramsey Baby Steps 3A And 3B – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer 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 returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific 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’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from 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 can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is very important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many 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 choices.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.