Dave Ramsey Radio Show – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a much better way to record 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic 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 months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when 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.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting 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 lead to penalties and interest.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — 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 types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as 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 the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.