Dave Ramsey Financial Advice – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

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

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

But what about safety?  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 ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic 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 may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may 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 info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should 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.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

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

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

    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 makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.