Dave Ramsey Sirius Channel Time – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the exact same page when it comes 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.

If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    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 are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is 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 returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by 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, 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings 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 simply do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete 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 finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record 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 most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as 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, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.