Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Live – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve 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 are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms 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 whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular 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 alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you from 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 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 system rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

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