Envelope Budgeting By Dave Ramsey – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact 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. 

And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that 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 if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can 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 may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors 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 simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should 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 the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than 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 safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

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

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

    It’s important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.