Dave Ramsey’s Favorite Books – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly 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. 

In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital 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 can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting 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) can lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple 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 guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.