Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball Worksheet – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    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 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around 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 problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also 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 commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

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

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are 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 basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of 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 option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep 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 suitable, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 options.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.