Dave Ramsey Show Podcast – 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’re 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 popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need in case 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 requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day 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 months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing 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 penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents.  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 process of doing this is simple.

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very 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 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 this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

      “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

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

      It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

      Bottom line

      For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is 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 that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.