Top 10 Tax-Time Tips

The IRS has released its list of the top 10 tax tips for the upcoming tax season. Sticking to these can cultivate a “less taxing” experience for you come April 15, 2009.

1. Gather your records…now! It’s never too early to start getting together any documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that support an item of income or a deduction you’re taking on your return. Also, be on the lookout for W-2s and 1099s, coming soon from your employer.

2. Find your forms. Whether you file a 1040 or 1040-EZ, you can download all IRS forms and publications on our Web site, IRS.gov.

3. Do a little research. Check out Publication 17 on IRS.gov. It’s a comprehensive collection of information for taxpayers highlighting everything you’ll need to know when filing your return. Review Pub 17 to ensure you’re taking all credits and deductions for which you’re eligible.

4. Think ahead to how you’ll file. Will you prepare your return yourself or go to a preparer? Do you qualify to file at no cost using Free File on IRS.gov? Are you eligible for free help at an IRS office or volunteer site? Will you purchase tax preparation software or file online? There are many things to consider. So, give yourself time to weigh them all and find the option that best suits your needs.

5. Take your time. Rushing to get your return filed increases the chance you will make a mistake and not catch it.

6. Double-check your return. Mistakes will slow down the processing of your return. In particular, make sure all the Social Security Numbers and math calculations are correct as these are the most common errors made by taxpayers.

7. Consider e-file. When you file electronically, the computer will handle the math calculations for you, and you will get your refund in about half the time it takes when you file a paper return.

8. Think about Direct Deposit. If you elect to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll receive it faster than waiting for a check by mail.

9. Visit IRS.gov often. The official IRS Web site is a great place to find everything you’ll need to file your tax return: forms, tips, FAQs and updates on tax law changes.

10. Relax. There’s no need to panic. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Try IRS.gov or call our customer service number at 800-829-1040.

Remember, for easy receipt management, Shoeboxed offers easy solutions that don’t require that you spend hours in front of a scanner. TaxACT offers great tax software for the upcoming tax season as well.

Top Ten Tax Tips
Top Ten Tax Tips

TaxACT: A Value Leader for E-Filing 2008 Taxes

With tax season rapidly approaching, many wonder about the best way to file taxes. Using computer software is a popular choice, as it can make tax filing much easier and less expensive. There are many options to choose from, but one stands out. TaxACT, an online e-filing program and service, offers an easy-to-use product that is a great value, and will be a great resource for many this tax season.

The most obvious benefit of TaxACT is that it is free. But free in this case does not mean that it is stripped of all the useful features. In fact, TaxACT’s software is very robust. Compared to other free e-filing services, TaxACT offers a more complete selection of form schedules and worksheets. Under the free service, users have access to the 1040 Individual Income Tax Return – Long Form, Schedule C, Schedule D, Schedule E and Form 8888.

TaxACT really is a value leader in the online tax filing industry.

TaxACT will release its new version for the upcoming tax season in the coming weeks, but based on last year’s product, we are looking forward to what TaxACT will have to offer for your 2008 taxes.

Last year, TaxACT Online Standard offered a free federal e-file and only charged $13.95 for a state e-filing software option. Other software providers offered a free federal e-file, but charged as much as $30.95 for a state software option. Still others charged $14.95 for a federal e-fiel and added on $29.95 for a state software option.

TaxACT also offers a step-by-step interview and checks for errors and flags potential audit risks. It is guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Last year’s version had a download version available at no extra cost.

TaxACT also provides free support via the Web and email.

In a year where prices of other services have received bad customer reviews and fluctuated, TaxACT offers an alternative solution.

TaxACT has spent more than a decade producing a high-quality, low-cost tax preparation solution for American taxpayers,” said Lance Dunn, CPA and President of 2nd Story Software, Inc, the makers of TaxACT, in a statement. “While our competitors have historically raised their prices and fees, TaxACT has made a commitment to being a value leader in the industry.”