Ramsey Dave – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, 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) can result in interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative 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 anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

    It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.