Dave Ramsey Monthly Cash Flow Plan Spreadsheet – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the 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. 

And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.

If you’re thinking about 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 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 means there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Utilize 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’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

      Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really secure?

      While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many 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 a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

      Bottom line

      For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.