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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex 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 very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as 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 the checking or savings account, 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 penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

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

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

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