David Ramsey Blue Bloods – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

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

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, 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) can lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four choices for submitting 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 help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very 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 expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, 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 rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

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