David Tate Ramsey Bootie – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you could find any refund you are 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 you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

If you are 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 does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish 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 less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% 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.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account 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 interest and penalties.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, 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 email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

It is important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.

Bottom line

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