Dave Ramsey Site – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on 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. 

In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got 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 option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

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

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% 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 yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy 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 afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all 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 finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “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 email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.