Dave Ramsey Paying Off Credit Cards – 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 precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation 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 that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish 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 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking 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) will lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: 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 services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is 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 anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since 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 ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.