Dave Ramsey Baby Steps In Order – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

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

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

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given 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.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if 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.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking 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 result in penalties and interest.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet 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 choices.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.