Printable Dave Ramsey Baby Steps – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

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

In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever 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 choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been 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 . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to 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 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. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

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