Dave Ramsey Chore List – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

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

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience 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.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
    2. Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: 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 liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including 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. 

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

Is e-filing really stable?

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

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

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

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.