Dave Ramseys Steps – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the 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 popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds 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. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from 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 since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

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