Let’s face it: most people don’t enjoy filing taxes, and it’s something many of us dread. It’s often stressful, and we’d rather not have to do it at all. However, everyone must file taxes every year, and failing to file taxes can have some serious consequences. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the luxury of a private accountant, so we must get this unpleasant task over with every year.
Would you feel better about having to file taxes if you knew there was more than one way to get the job done? Depending on your situation, you have more options than filling out forms by hand and mailing them off to the IRS, and some of those options definitely remove some of the stress from the whole business. Check out this list of options for filing your taxes and see if any might simplify the process for you.
Your Tax Options
1. If working out your taxes is going to be fairly simple, or you have the knowledge needed to file for complicated taxes, go for it! File online or using the traditional paper method.
2. If your income is less than $54,000 per year you can file online, at no charge, at the IRS web site.
3. If your income is more than $54,000 per year, you can file online via a process called IRS e-file. Check the IRS web site for further information.
4. Print tax forms from the IRS web site to save you having to order them in the mail, then fill them out and mail them off as usual.
5. Use tax preparation software such as Quicken or Turbo Tax to make filing your taxes easier without having to hire a professional.
6. Work with a professional tax preparer or an accountant to help with your taxes if your situation is particularly complicated.
7. Work with a tax attorney or tax agent if you have any legal or other issues that may cause serious problems.
Which is Best for You?
Those are your basic options for filing your taxes. Which is going to work best for you? That depends on your tax situation, and your knowledge of tax preparation. If completing your taxes will be fairly easy it’s usually possible to do the job on your own. If your taxes are more complicated, or you haven’t paid in several years and want to set the record straight, you may need professional help to make sure everything is done correctly.
Whichever method you choose, remember that the most important thing when it comes to getting your taxes done is to file on time. The possible consequences of filing late (or not at all) are much worse than having to spend a few hours on preparing your tax returns.