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

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

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

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

And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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 information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers cater to particular 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 database of authorized 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 favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

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

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.