Dave Ramsey Scholarship Program – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact same page when it comes 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.

In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

If you’re Considering 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 electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from 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, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

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

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

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really stable?

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 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 data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.