Do Your Own Taxes
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We are just a few days away from the deadline to file our tax returns. If you haven’t filed your tax return, you better hurry or file for an extension.
I have been doing my own taxes for over 15+ years now. It is not as scary as it sounds – it is fairly easy to do your own taxes. I have a regular day job and receive W2 from my employer and 1099’s from banks and brokerages.
The only thing left is deductions – you could go with the standard deduction or itemize your deductions.
I use the itemized deductions because it helps lower my tax bill.
If you are not running a business, and you fall into the description above, it is fairly easy to do your own taxes.
For a lot of people, fear gets in the way.
Speaking of fear, there are two kinds – rational fear and irrational fear.
I can offer some help on the rational fears, however, I don’t have anything up my sleeve for irrational ones.
The main reason I hear from my own family and friends for not doing their own taxes goes like this –
#1 “I ‘m afraid I might mess it up.
#2 “I don’t want to deal with the IRS directly should I get audited.”
These two fears are rational in nature. The good news is these can be addressed.
Popular tax software like Turbo Tax and TaxAct ask you questions all along the way – all you got to do is answer questions and fill in the information. These popular software have checks and balances in place – you really need to work hard at messing it up. This should help address the first fear.
The second fear is the fear to deal directly with IRS should you be audited or if IRS has a question for you. Most tax software publishers offer some sort of audit defense or shield program.
You could sign up for it and you would never have to talk to IRS directly. If you sign up for the audit protection program, the software provider would represent you.
Learning to Do Your Taxes
Just like anything, it takes a little bit of learning. If have always been going to an accountant to do your taxes, the best way to get started is to do your own taxes, then take it to the accountant, and have him / her review it.
If he / she determines that what you have done is correct, then you could do it yourself the following year.
While filing tax returns is not the most exciting thing to do, it needs to get done every year whether you like it or not.
The primary reason to do your own taxes is to save money.
If you go to an accountant, you are going to be paying somewhere between $200 – $300 or more to do your tax return. If you do your own taxes, you could be filing your tax return for $100 or less.
You save $100 or more by doing it yourself.
Tax Software Options
For the pricing mentioned below, taxes must be filed electronically.
TaxAct Free – $0 Federal + $0 State tax filing! – this is the lowest cost option I could find. For simple tax returns, you pay $0. The $0 state tax filing offer ends 04/14, so act fast to take advantage while this offer exists.
E-file.com – If you are filing just a 1040EZ, then federal return can be electronically filed for free. For state, you could file the return for $19 if you use coupon code SAVE24.
E.Smart tax by Liberty Tax – if you are filing just a 1040EZ, then federal return can be electronically filed for free. For state, you could file the return for $31.95. Get 30% off Liberty Tax Filing. Just click through this link to LibertyTax.com!
TurboTax – if you are filing just a 1040EZ, then federal return can be electronically filed for free. For state, you could file the return for $29.99.
I have been using TurboTax for several years now. I am very used to it and have been very satisfied with their customer support.
You need to select one that best suits your need. Once you choose a software, just stay with it for subsequent years. This helps you import a lot of information in from a previous year’s return. This saves you a lot of time.
I encourage you to consider doing your own taxes and save some money!