It’s about to be tax season again. In the past you may have turned to a CPA or some other tax preparation service to help you file your taxes. This year, you may be looking for a cheaper alternative, maybe even file your taxes for free. Below are some tips for those that might want to minimize filing expenses or those that cannot afford professional tax preparation service.
File for Free: If you grossed $56,000 (expected) or less in 2009 you can use the IRS’s FreeFile to file your Federal taxes for free. FreeFile is expected to reopen January 15th. If you made more than $56,000, then you can utilize your computer by purchasing a software program like TurboTax. Although TurboTax comes at a cost, it will usually ensure you catch deductions and credits to help lower your total tax liability.
Editor’s Note: TurboTax also has a free online edition: Get your refund fast. Do your taxes the easy way with TurboTax. Start Now.
Don’t e-file: To minimize expenses further do not e-file your tax return whether State or Federal (unless its free like with FreeFile) even though it is sometimes much easier to do than mailing it. This alone can save you $25 to $100 dollars depending on what software you are using.
Bottom-Line: Unless you tax situation is complex, use a software program or go online. Don’t e-file your tax return unless you are using the IRS’s FreeFile and your State’s (if offered) or you need your refund as soon as possible.
Other Notes: Make sure you obtain your W-2 from your employer(s) as you will need this. It is important to begin collecting documentation now such as a W-2, 1099s, mortgage statements, bank statements and more.
If you don’t receive your W-2 by February 2nd, 2010 contact your employer first. The IRS can be contacted but there is a fee typically and should not have to pay this.
This is a guest post from Matt Robinson at TaxDebtHelp.com. Matt has been helping Federal and state taxpayers find IRS tax debt relief for over 10 years now. His firm focuses on on tax debt solutions and has constructed a new self-help site for taxpayers to resolve minor tax problems.