Dave Ramsey Instructor – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    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 receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money 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 choice to pay your balance by using 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. 

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet 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 forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is 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 over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

      Is e-filing really secure?

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

      “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, 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 email.”

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

      It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.

      Bottom line

      For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.