Dave Ramsey Workbook Answers Chapter 11 – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite 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 don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if 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 might be the best filing option for your requirements.

If you are Considering 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 electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

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

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Utilize an internet 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 own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because 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 certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.