Dave Ramsey Tweets – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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 yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation 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 programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very 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 over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

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