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

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have 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 electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.

How 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’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 guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed 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. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

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

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

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.