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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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. 

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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 intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. 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’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds 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 account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will 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?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should 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.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated 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 a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.

      “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data 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 data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

      It is important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

      Bottom line

      For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.