Dave Ramsey College Savings – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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

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 was received within one day 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 can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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 yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.

The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific 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 option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.