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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the 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.  E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can 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 digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, 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 data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.

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 Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over 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 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 proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

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