Dave Ramsey Tools – 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.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds 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. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting 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 result in interest and penalties.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most 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 stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising 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 rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

    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 dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.