Dave Ramsey Bad Advice – 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 the exact 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 a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very 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 confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three 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 approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • 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 database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

    It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most 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 effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.