How Free Tax Filing Will Benefit You
Best Free Tax Filing Tips You Will Read This Year
Millions of American taxpayers take advantage of the free tax filing services each year. A number of online tax vendors are members in the Free File Alliance program, and they are promoted by the Internal Revenue Service with links from their website.
This program was devised several years ago to provide free tax filing for low income taxpayers by giving them an opportunity to file their federal tax return free, provided their gross income was within certain levels established by the IRS each year. In addition to the free filing program, many online vendors offer the ability to file just about any type of personal tax return.
All of the vendor online tax filing websites pretty much function about the same, some just offer more bells and whistles. Most try to compete in price by offering various extra services. For the 2016 tax filing season, almost all of the vendors are offering free tax filing for the military with federal 1040EZ return and are only charging to file the state return. The procedure for filing your tax return online is fairly simple and begins by deciding on a username and a secure password, and a valid e-mail address.
You can start to enter basic information such as names and address as soon as your identity is confirmed. Again, the majority of the free tax filing programs use a question and answer format to see what type of return will be required.
As you respond to the questions with a yes or no answer, the program will determine the tax forms for you to complete such as W-2 or interest and dividend statements. All that you need to do is copy the information from the forms that were mailed to you onto the forms provided in the program. You also enter the names of dependents, if any, and if you itemize deductions, you will enter that information as well.
There are various tax credits and other benefits each year based on filing status, and after reviewing your answers to the yes and no questions, the intuitive program will know the ones that you may qualify for.
The program will also review all information to make certain that the type of return being prepared will give you the lowest tax liability for your filing status. At the end of this calculation, you will see the results of your tax return on a screen where you will be able to review and verify the information that you entered.
Your tax return is essentially complete at this point and now the vendor’s fee must be paid before you can e-file the return. Having the fee deducted from your refund is one option being offered by more and more vendors because your credit card is not required. The option to pay by credit or debit card is available if you so desire. If you have a refund due, the best option is to have it directly deposited into one of your bank accounts as it will arrive weeks before a check that is mailed to you.
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Unfortunately some taxpayers have a tax balance due and they are able to pay it by credit card as well or they can mail it in with a special voucher that is printed out.
You’ve arrived at the stage now where it is time to e-file your tax return to the IRS and also to your resident state, unless you live in one that doesn’t have an income tax. There is an e-file button that is clicked and your returns are on their way to the IRS and your state.
You will also see a link where you can print a copy of your tax return for your files, and this is all included in the fee. In order to make your free tax filing easier the next year, your vendor will store a copy of your return on highly secure file servers and this is also included in the fee that you paid earlier.
The procedure for free tax filing will vary among vendors, but is essentially very basic. Some offer other free services while some offer multiple state filing for those who may have income earned in other states, and you will need to consider this when deciding on which software vendor to use. Also review the fees charged for your particular type of return, especially the cost to file a state return which can vary significantly.
The tax code has become very complex, and with the many changes each year, it is usually beneficial for most individuals to take advantage of the free tax filing services. Not only is the cost less than the CPA down the street, but it is just as safe.
Most tax preparation firms use the same software that the online vendors use, and the e-filing is the same. If you have any apprehension, take a free trial with our fantastic online tax vendor, 1040.com and see if you can do the return. If not, it doesn’t cost you anything but a little of your time. If your return is complicated, and you have doubts that you can file the return online, then by all means take it to a qualified tax preparer.
However, our interview process is so intuitive, the program will make sure that you get every deduction and tax credit that you are entitled to.