For the past 2 years I have been submitting my federal tax returns online via the TaxACT Online software program. It is free to use for your federal returns, and quite simple as well. I found this site on the IRS’s website for filing taxes. My taxes are pretty simple as I do not own a home, have children and am single. I could do them without software, but TaxACT does all the configurations for me, so there’s no adding or subtracting problems.
To get started, make sure you have your W-2(s), 1099’s, and other pertinent tax information you may have received from any banks or investments you use. The first step is for the program to just get some basic information from you such as your name, address, and social security number. The next step is a series of questions relating to life events that may have occurred to you within the past year. These could be marriage, having a child, hurricane victim, changing job, and the like. Step 3 is the question and answer part for the federal tax return portion. It will ask you questions such as wages, misc. income, itemized deductions, adjustments to your income. Step 4 is questions for your state tax return. This will just be additions and subtractions to your income, based on the state (s) you resided in. The fifth step is the review process. TaxACT will review all the information you have entered and make sure they aren’t any red flags that pop up. If you used the program last year or if you have your tax refund information handy from last year, you can enter that as well and it will give you a side by side comparison showing you any increases or decreases in income, adjustments, and final return or payment due.
Once you have all your tax information entered, you have 3 options for filing. You can file it electronically, which will get you’re your refund in 10 days or less if you have it direct deposited. You can file it by mail by printing out your return and mailing it in, or you may file an extension. Your extension form must still be filed by the tax cut off date.
TaxACT does not charge to file federal income taxes, but does charge a $13.00 fee for state tax returns. Since my state tax return is very minimal, I do this one by hand and just submit my federal tax return electronically. I see no point in paying $13.00 when my return is even less than that from the state. Make sure you print a copy of your returns for your records.
I like the TaxACT Online software. It’s free to use so it saves you hundreds of dollars instead of having a CPA do your taxes for you. It is very user friendly and you can save your spot at any time and pick up where you left off later. There is also a link you can you to check the status of your return as well. The TaxACT Online software site is secure as well.