Yes it is that time of the year again, people are asking the same old questions:
When can I file my taxes? What and who can I claim? And two of the biggest questions are: how can I file my taxes free and when do I get my refund?
To most people this tax process thingamajig is a huge headache, and be aware that businesses and companies outrageously over charge and prey on defenseless people that know they have to file but do not know how or do not want to deal with their own tax status.
You can save big bucks, and will be able to understand the process better if you get involved.
Here are a few ways to file free tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service
- W2’s, 1099 forms, unemployment forms, interest earned
- gather any dependent information, such as date of births, social security cards/numbers
- anything you can deduct, including medical expenses, work related costs, travel cost, interest paid out, charitable donations, etc.
- some of the more popular credits that you need to be aware of include the child tax credit, earned income tax credit (EITC), and even adoption. Also some areas filers overlook are such things as to include dependent, senior or disabled tax credit, health care,and education expenses. For example the American Opportunity Tax Credit gives credit for tuition expenses for higher education
- also don’t forget the contributions to your retirement savings such as IRA’s, 401k, 403b.
- understand the different between the standard deduction and doing an itemized deduction, knowing which one would benefit you more, can definitely change your refund by hundreds, perhaps even thousands if you have enough deductions to itemize.
So when you ask that very important question of how can I file my taxes free, here are a few good places to start:
- you can actually check with your local library, if they don’t have all the forms and instruction booklets, ask them to get them for you. You can take your time and if you do not have anything real complicated, you can do them absolutely on your own for free.
- look for local charities, churches or volunteer centers that offer free advise, free preparation and filing.
- you can do an absolute free filing on your federal taxes by going to www.irs.gov this is an official government site and there is a ton of information to help you prepare and to answer any and all questions. You can find the 1040, 1040EZ or the 1040A. It shows you how to get started, what forms to use and the steps to take. A thing to remember here is that this is only federal, you then have to complete your state tax and any local tax return. Do a search on your state for filing your state return.
- Another avenue you could take is with online companies. Look for a company that offers superior software and deals with all of the IRS jargon. Remember as the taxpayer you need to be in charge and know what is going on. You will have hands control, can have all of your questions answered and with filing online, any of the systems will walk you through step by step and the process is much more easier than attempting to do it yourself.
- Ask around your community. Did I mention that I hate doing taxes? Yes, I do not even like doing my own taxes so I have found a local guy that has over twenty years of experience, he is licensed, and he does taxes and accounting throughout the year. I found him by word of mouth, his prices are very reasonable and it works out great for me.
Here is a word of warning about filing taxes, high dollar fees and scams galore…
there seems to be an unbelievable amount of email messages being received and believed to be a phishing scheme designed to capture personal information and passwords. Such emails are not generated by the IRS e-services program. It is highly recommended that you do not open unknown emails and complete avoid clicking on any links For more information on this scam, see IR-2015-31,
Another scam going around is by phone where people are receiving calls stating that the IRS is calling and they are insisting that the individual answering the phone, owes thousands of dollars to the IRS and they are demanding immediate payment. Be aware that the IRS does not call people that owe them money. They contact individuals by mail. So if you receive such a call, just hang up immediately.
Your choices are many when it comes to getting your taxes done. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can consider the vast businesses that pop up at this time of year. The advertising is overwhelming at times and can pull you in, but here is the bad part…ask about and compare the fees they charge! I have a friend that works at a payday loan place, they take a couple of classes online and then work with an online company and they do the same process that you can do yourself.
But here is the catch (I have seen with my own eyes the amounts they charge) prep fees start at $109.00 up to $200.00 and every W2 or 1099 entered adds on more fees, then there is a bank transmission fee of $115.00, plus an audit fee of $50.00. So adding this up with a basic filing with one W2 the minimum a person would be paying out in fees is a whopping $274.00 and the amount will be more depending on whatever you are claiming! To top it off some don’t even file the local tax paperwork, so you are on the hook for that yourself.
Depending on the simplicity or complexity of your filing, I am sure you want to hold onto as much of your money as possible so do your homework, ask questions, check out the free help in your community or the sites that offer free simple filing and minimal fees according to your status.
The online software can be used for both federal and state, it provides easy to follow access, you can take your time, save your material and, realize that asking that dreaded question of how do I file my taxes free, you can definitely accomplish online, and make filing much more easier and less time consuming with their step by step instructions.
Millions of taxpayers qualify to file their IRS tax returns at no cost every year. This is due in part to many choices in regards to online software programs. Do your homework, make wise choices and learn to do your own tax filing which in turn saves you more money and you can actually put it towards your retirement!