Dave Ramsey Seven Baby Steps – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: 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 your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to 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 option to pay your balance by making use of 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) can result in interest and penalties.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, 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 yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is 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 expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.