Dave Ramsey College Curriculum – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on 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 a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that 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 account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, 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 may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s 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 that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.