Dave Ramsey Free Tools – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

Nearly all 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 get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: 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 that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, 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 means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications 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 forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.