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

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex 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 choice for your needs.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you publish 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 three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: 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 needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $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 provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.