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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, 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 your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup 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 find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

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

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

    It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.