Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball Method – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

If you are thinking about e-filing, some 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 digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

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

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, 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 these forms. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own 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 yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five 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 so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment choices.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.