Sat Jan 19, 2013, 2:00 am | 3 Comments
Albert Einstein used to say “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Well! It may be connected to his theory of relativity but, being a physicist that he was, he didn’t think of the U.S. tax system in reverse. It would have been a lot easier for him if he understood two things:
- The more you make, the less you pay – ever heard of loopholes?
- The less you make, the more you pay – never heard of loopholes?
Each year, more and more taxpayers are using tax preparation software to complete and e-file their tax returns. Each software has Q&A section where you can follow it step-by-step. As you are entering information, the data is automatically being transferred to all of the appropriate forms, schedules, and worksheets.
Also if your state has income taxes and if you have downloaded its software, your federal tax data is automatically transferred and calculated by the state software. Just answer a few simple state-specific questions and you are done.
Tax preparation software is Easy to Follow
Filing tax returns, for some, is like going to the dentist. If you have flossed once a day and brushed twice a day regularly, then going to the dentist should be a breeze and not something to dread upon.
On the same token, if you have kept records of all your income and expenses (tax deductible or not – because you might not know it at the time), then figuring out your tax returns should be a breeze as well.
If you like to surf the Internet, for your own sanity later, at least every quarter – that’s four times a year – visit What’s hot on IRS website and get updated for any changes in taxes.
By the way, you might want to take advantage of the Free IRS Offer for Tax Help. IRS also provides Your Electronic Alternatives to Filing Paper Returns.
Do-It-Yourself Tax Software
Here is a list of tax services that you might want to take a look at. Over the last so many years, I have been using TaxACT. But you are welcome to use any of the following alphabetically-ordered services:
- EG TAX
- eSmart Tax
- Free Tax Software Reviews
- LAVDAS TAX GROUP, LLC
- My Rapid Tax
- OLT – On Line Taxes
- Online Tax Pros
- Tax Exact
- TaxCut by H&R Block
- The Tax Gear
- TurboTax Free Efile
Understand Basics of Tax Return
Before you use one of these tax software utilities, understand the basics of your tax return.
In a Nutshell
Go ahead, use any of these tax software and do and e-file your taxes yourself. Don’t be afraid to wet your feet. Try out a few and see which one you like the best. Probably, the explanation at every step of the way might make a difference to you from one to the other.
If you want outside face-to-face help, then AARP can help you. Enter your zip code, and AARP will come back with locations close to you, where you can set up appointment time. The location would most probably be your local library and libraries in the surrounding towns.