Dave Ramsey Show Tucson – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks 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 speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

    It is important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.