Dave Ramsey High School Book – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit 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 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as 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, filing 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) can result in interest and penalties.

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

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

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

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should 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.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

    It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

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