Debt Snowball App Dave Ramsey – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When 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 can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily 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 your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without 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 kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    4. 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 earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, 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 could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.