Dave Ramsey Principles – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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 may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, 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.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage 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.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, 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 income, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database 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 most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may 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.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, 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, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 options.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.