This year I filed my tax return online for the first time. I still can’t believe how easy it was. The best thing about doing my taxes online was that it was that it was completely free. The second best thing about it was that I took my time and did it early morning because that’s when I think best. But you can do it at any time day or night.
Once I did my taxes online I actually had a refund in my bank account by direct deposit in under two weeks. It is a little worrying to put all my personal information on the Internet but because I used the ‘.gov’ site I was reassured that only the Fed had it and they keep it safe. The IRS.gov is always open for business 24/7. This is the important Internet address.
Once you are on the IRS site there are 5 steps to doing your taxes online for free.
1. Find the “Free File Home – Your link to Free Online Filing” page. At the bottom look for and click on the “I Will Find a Company” . Then have a look round for a ‘Free File company’ such as, FileYourTaxes.com, average1040.com, or Easy-eFile.com.
2. Check out whether you are eligible to use these sites and whether you are eligible to file your taxes online for free. The sites layout the eligibility criteria on the first page.
3. At this step you have to leave the .gov site and go to your chosen free filing company site to start the filing of your return. Make sure you have ALL of your financial information to hand. This makes filing your return much quicker.
4. Once you have started to file your return you may be told that you are not eligible to do it for free. The free sites are obligated to tell you the fee that will be charged up front. Do not continue with your filing until you have gone back to the .gov site to look for an alternate free site (or a lower fee). Or go to IRS e-file Solutions for Taxpayers for more alternatives.
If your income was greater than $56,000 you can still use the forms tool documents for free and do your tax return and file it online.
5. Use the ‘free’ company’s software to fill in your e-files and your income tax returns. The company sends your returns on your behalf to the IRS using a safe system. You’ll get an electronic receipt, which you should keep safe.