Dave Ramsey Family Photo – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have 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 are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day 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 can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as 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 account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but 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 the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.