Dave Ramsey Pay Off Mortgage Or Invest – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% 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 yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So 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?

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

The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are 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.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet 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 submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.