Beginners Guide: How to File Your Taxes

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It may seem overwhelming to file your taxes online, but it is something that we all must do. Filling in your taxes online saves time , and the wide range of tax filing software makes the process even more user-friendly. According to the IRS, filing taxes online can reduce the time it takes to receive your refund from six to eight weeks to only 21 days. Enough reasons to go behind your laptop and fill the form in. Filing your taxes online is faster and easier than paper filing. In this guide we are going to give you tips on how you can easily fill in your taxes online.

Do It Yourself

The first thing to consider is filling in your taxes yourself. You can download your own forms from IRS.gov and prepare your own taxes if you feel comfortable playing accountant. The IRS website has all of the forms and supporting worksheets, as well as instructions.

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This method may or may not be simple for you, depending on how simple or difficult your tax situation is. Follow the instructions to prepare your forms using your tax papers, such as W-2(s) a form from your employer that shows your income and taxes withheld) or 1099-B (a form from the IRS) (for capital gains). Then go to the IRS website and file everything yourself. If you owe money to the IRS, you can pay it online.

Free File Program

The IRS Free File program allows you to file your taxes for free online. It’s a nice balance between doing everything yourself and using tax software. The IRS collaborates with online tax preparation firms to assist you fill out all of your paperwork and file your taxes online. Because it’s a free program, it won’t provide as much help as a tax software tool.

There is one condition however, because it is not free for everyone: If your adjusted gross income—a tax phrase that basically means your income minus certain tax deductions—is below a certain threshold, the IRS offers free tax preparation software that can help you figure out any deductions or credits you may be eligible for.

Different Software Programs

You can purchase a subscription to use online tools, which are available from different sources, if you want a little more help. They’ll show you how to prepare your tax return and help you figure out if you qualify for any deductions or credits.

While many tax software businesses provide premium plans with more features, the majority of the big players also offer a free version that allows users with simple tax returns, such as those without deductions, to file federal — and even state — taxes.

Tax Preparer

You can go to a tax preparation service or an accountant if you realize you need one-on-one assistance from an expert. Make certain you’re working with someone you can rely on. You will be trusting this expert with a great deal of personal information, so choose a tax professional wisely. The IRS provides a directory of verified tax preparers that may assist you in locating one in your area. While this isn’t proof of their reliability, it’s a decent place to start.

How To Pay Your Taxes Online

If you use one of the online tax services to prepare your taxes, they will tell you how and where to pay money to the IRS if you owe taxes once your forms are completed. If you don’t get a link from your tax agency, go to the IRS web site and make a Payment. Pay the amount you calculated on your forms and send it to the IRS either directly or through the tax preparation service you utilized.

Exceptions

Some states don’t allow e-filling for state taxes however (only e-file state and federal taxes together.) The states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Oregon. Besides that, some states don’t even have a state income tax, such as: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Other exceptions are: New Hampshire and Tennessee. In these states you only have to file a state tax return if you’re paying taxes on interest and dividend income.

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