The year is quickly drawing to a close. You are probably considering your tax moves for the end of the year, and trying to figure out how to lower your tax liability. However, now is also a good time to start organizing your tax documents, and figure out how you plan to file your paperwork. One of the best — and most popular — ways to send in your tax return is to file taxes online.
The IRS allows you to send in your forms electronically, and this can be a convenient way to file, as well as a good way to get your tax refund faster. (Combine e-file with direct deposit and you can have your tax refund sent straight to your bank account in as quickly as seven to 10 days.)
You can use IRS e-file to file your own taxes with the help of tax preparation software, or you can have a tax professional do it for you. Many of the online versions of different tax preparation software programs come with e-file options. It is usually pretty easy and straightforward to file taxes online, especially if your tax return is relatively simple. Understand, though, that in many cases there is a fee involved. Understand, too, that you will need a PIN to e-file your taxes yourself.
In some cases, you might be able to use e-file for free. If you want to file taxes online for free, you should check to see if you are eligible for free-file. Your income must be $58,000 or less in order for you to qualify for free-file. There are about 20 companies that you can use to access free-file services without having to pay. You can also use the fillable forms provided by the IRS if you want to prepare your own tax return for free-file. The fillable forms work best if you feel comfortable preparing your taxes, and they are fairly straightforward.
Filing State Taxes Online
Many states also allow you to file taxes online. However, it is important to note that the system for filing your state taxes online is different from the IRS system. You will need to check with your state, or with your tax preparer to find out more about the cost to electronically file your state income tax paperwork. There might be additional fees for state tax returns, so make sure you understand what you will be charged for.
When you e-file your taxes, you might also have to send documentation. You may have to scan and send copies of your W-2, mortgage interest form and other documentation. Even if you don’t have to scan and send all of the information (my accountant doesn’t scan and send receipts), you should still keep copies of the documentation. Keep all supporting documentation for credits and deductions so that you have in case of an audit. Since you are sending an electronic tax return, you should be able to keep the hard copies in a safe place. Keep supporting documentation with the tax return.