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

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it’s 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 you might need if you have a intricate 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 very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, 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 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 specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue 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 network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 easy payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.