DIY Tax – Can You Handle It?
How To File a DIY Tax Return – 5 Easy Tips
Whether you’re a first time filer or a seasoned veteran, filing a DIY tax return is not hard and can save you a lot of hard earned money. When you consider the time and aggravation saved, it becomes a no-brainer.
You can ease the pain even more by thoughtful planning and choosing to file your taxes online by yourself. By that, we mean at one of the DIY sites such as ours at EZ Tax/1040.com. We do everything we can to make this experience as stress free as possible.
Many individuals still think that taking all your records to a paid tax preparer is the best answer. Believe me, in almost every case, it is not. Filing your own taxes is not hard to do unless your return is very complex.
Since the Cares Act was enacted a couple of years ago, most individuals are now able to use the increased standard deduction rather than itemizing and now have a simple tax return. By using our EZ Tax/1040.com website, you can save yourself considerable time and money.
Save money and file a DIY tax return
If you’ve gone to a paid tax preparer, you saw first hand the high fees charged for even a simple tax return. The National Society of Accountants say that preparing a federal and state tax return using no itemized deductions, the average fee was $176. If you had enough deductions to be able to itemize, the average fee jumped to $273.
If you had a simple side gig and had to file a Schedule C with your itemized return, the average fee sky rocketed to $465. Knowing how to file a DIY tax return can save you a lot of time and a big hit to your bank account. The $25 flat fee at EZ Tax/1040.com is awesome.
Build your knowledge by filing taxes online
Besides saving a lot of money, filing a DIY tax return is a confidence builder. Simply by reading the easy interview questions, you’ll quickly learn how you’re affected by the tax code.
Just by paying attention to the various steps in filing your return, you’ll be able to understand the process better. This will help you to feel more comfortable in filing your own taxes.
Save time by filing your own taxes
When tax season opens each year, preparers can be very busy and you’ll find it hard to make an appointment. Knowing how to file taxes on your own can mean getting a faster refund too. If you have a fairly simple tax return, you should have all of your tax documents early.
Besides getting a refund faster, there is another important reason for filing your taxes early. Criminals who have obtained your identity usually file the fraudulent tax return early, hoping that you haven’t filed yet.
Maintain a special file to hold tax information
All during the year, keep any receipt or other information that pertains to income tax, in that separate file. That way, you won’t have to waste time trying to locate them when tax time rolls around. That includes medical expenses, taxes, charitable contributions, mortgage interest, etc.
We recommend that you sort out the information that you need in early January and then file your DIY tax return as soon as you can when tax season opens.
In that same file where you have all of the year’s tax information, keep a copy of the actual tax return that you filed. Any item of income or expense that is on the tax return should be kept for 3 to 6 years depending on the type. Our parent company, the HBS Financial Group, Ltd. has a checklist showing the number of years to keep various documents.
We highly recommend that you keep your tax return forever, and not shred it. If the IRS suspects non-reported income, there is no statute of limitations. They can go back as far as needed.
If you have a secure place to store a digital copy of each year’s tax return, that too is highly desirable. A digital copy comes in handy when you apply for a mortgage and are asked for 3 years of tax returns. It saves time and money in making hard copies.
Also, if a copy of a certain year’s tax return is needed and can’t be located, the IRS can’t be relied upon to get a copy. With their staffing problems, and pitiful mail service, you could be waiting 6 months or more.
Be proactive in year end tax planning
Sometime before the year ends, you should be considering the following:
- Have you contributed the maximum amount to your retirement accounts
- Have you put in the maximum to your health savings account (HSA)
- Can you make any additional charitable contributions
- Are your withholdings and/or estimated taxes enough
Be aware of any deadlines that you need to meet for tax deductions. In the case of charitable contributions, you have until December 31 to get them mailed. If you use a credit card, make sure the charge is put through by December 31 too.
Unless you live in a state that has no income tax, you will be filing a state tax return along with your DIY tax return. Plus, if you have income earned from more than one state, you’ll more than likely be filing multiple state returns. At EZ Tax/1040.com, this is no problem and is automatic.
Be sure that you know the filing status you’ll be using when you file your taxes. In addition, review all of the deductions that you have to see if you can itemize or file your DIY tax return using the standard deduction.
If you file your own taxes online with us at EZ Tax/1040.com, you can simply enter all of your deductions and the program will use the best method to minimize your tax liability.
A good piece of advice is to never rush the process of filing your own taxes. It’s easy to make mistakes when you rush, and you might overlook an important deduction that would reduce your tax liability. Block out time and have all of your records handy before you start.
There are a lot of sites that heavily advertise free tax filing, and you need to look at them carefully. If you do qualify, you’ll more than likely be paying extra to file your state tax return. At EZ Tax/1040.com, we don’t offer free filing, but our low price of $25, includes your federal and state return as well as e-filing to federal and state agencies.
Different online tax filing providers have certain conditions that must be met in order to qualify for one of their pricing tiers. Some will let you have a free federal return but charge for a state return. Others charge more if you itemize or if you need a certain form, such as a Schedule C for a side gig. Read very carefully.
Or just do your own taxes with EZ Tax/1040.com for a flat $25, and end up paying less in fees. We also include free e-filing too.
If you need help, we’re there for you
Most people filing a simple tax return never have a need for help. However, any time you’re unsure about something, or just have a question, we have USA based e-mail and chat support ready to help you.
You don’t have to know how to file taxes on your own at EZ Tax/1040.com. Our program was designed for you specifically, to help you through the entire process with a minimum of stress and anxiety.
We’ve never heard of anyone who enjoys filing their taxes, but we do our best to make it as easy as humanly possible. Give our amazing program a try with no obligation, and we believe that our flat rate price of $25 to file a DIY tax return will give you the best bang for your hard earned buck. Click the button below to experience the best online tax filing and transparent pricing.