Dave Ramsey Live Atlanta – 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 about everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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. 

In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade 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 rather than exposing your data in the email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment options.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.