Filing your taxes online is easier than you think. Not only are there websites that allow you to do it for free, but the sites are often much easier to use than the programs that require you to purchase and install the software.
The methodology for filing taxes obviously varies from person to person depending on financial status, employment, state of residence, etc. For those of us who do not make quite as much money as Mr. Gates or Mr. Buffett, most websites will allow free filing of at least the federal return, and often the state return as well.
You may be wondering how to know whether or not you qualify for free filing. It is a simple matter to find out. Most websites list an income cap right on the homepage. If you make less than the cap, then you’re in.
So let’s get started. First of all, in order to make it as smooth a process as possible, it is greatly helpful to have a copy of your previous year’s return. This will help you to fill in certain information, such as your Adjusted Gross Income, which you will most likely not know off the top of your head.
Next, which tax filing website should you choose? You can look up several with a simple google search, but one in particular that I have found to be very efficient and user friendly is completetax.com. This site will allow you to file both federal and state returns, which is convenient. Simply register with a username and a password and then follow the steps. The program saves your progress as you go, so you don’t have to finish the entire thing in one sitting, which is nice.
Now it is just a matter of following the steps until the end. As you progress through the questions, the program has qualifying parameters to help you to know which forms you need to file, whether you qualify for any deductions or education credits, etc. Just fill in the information. If you need to submit any additional forms, the program has all the forms you need and directs you to fill them out as well.
After you have completed all the steps, the program will calculate all of the information you have inputed and tell you whether you owe any money or will be getting a refund and how much it will be either way. If you owe any money, it will then direct you how to pay the balance. If not, it will tell you how much you can look forward to in a refund.
Finally, the program will prompt you to review the information to ensure that it is accurate, and you can then file your return electronically by simply clicking on the button. You can now print off your return for your records, and that’s all there is to it.
And the best part is that the site saves your return under your username and password (make a note of these for the future), so you do not have to go through the process of filling in all your personal information again next year.
So there you have it. Free online tax filing as simple as can be. Filing taxes is a necessary evil, as we all know, so why not make it a little easier on yourself this year and try it online.