Who among us dreamed even as recently as 15 years ago that one day we'd all be able to file our taxes online? And even if we did envision that occurrence, how many of us imagined that there would be volunteer organizations to help us fill out our online tax returns? These volunteers can also help with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly. In addition to tax return preparation assistance, most volunteers will also help with free electronic filing (e-filing). By taking advantage of the e-file program, you'll speed up the time between filing and receipt of your refund, particularly if you designate your acceptance of direct deposit into your bank account.
Electronically filing tax returns has become enormously popular, not only with taxpayers but with the IRS too. The elimination of paper returns saves the Internal Revenue Service a great deal of time and refunds have been finding their way to their recipients with incredible speed compared to the old days. The IRS Website has information on how to e-file, plus other useful facts and suggestions for obtaining assistance.
There is no reason to be intimidated by e-filing. It's both fast and easy. If you've got a computer with Internet access, you're halfway home. It doesn't have to be your computer. The ones at libraries and community centers will serve just as well. Locate a program online to fill out your return by using a search engine. Follow the instructions on the screen. Depending on how much information you need to input, the process can take one to, at the outside, three hours. One especially useful feature of the online forms is that as long as you input the correct number in the correct space, the program will do the math and should apply all the relevant deductions as well.
People aged 60 and older can receive free tax help from the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. Trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income-tax return preparation for senior citizens, sometimes including instruction in the use of online filing.
Many community centers and libraries hold mini training seminars on electronic tax preparation and filing in the weeks leading up to April 15. Check bulletin boards and local newspapers for notices of these events.