Dave Ramsey Workbook – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a better way to file 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.

The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

    It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.