Dave Ramsey College Scholarships – 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 are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all 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 do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been 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 that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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 lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

The way 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 more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

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

    Bottom line

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