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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

If you are 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 electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to 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 information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

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

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

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter 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 direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.