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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can 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.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting 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 licensed 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 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 convenient, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

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

    It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.