Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover 7 Baby Steps – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the 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. 

And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood 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 errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation 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 suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

It’s very important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.