For many people tax time means confusion, stress, and perhaps panic. You may not feel you have enough knowledge to prepare your own tax return. You may find it too expensive to pay a tax service to do it for you. Fortunately, there are several options available to ease your concerns.
Often governments will provide free income tax preparation clinics for low-income earners. If you have a simple tax return, you can usually access this service. Certain situations may not apply such as bankruptcy, business incomes, or rental incomes. Usually free tax clinics will not prepare returns for deceased persons, or people who claim capital gains or losses. Check your government's revenue web site for information about a clinic near you. Alternatively, call your local government representative for advice.
Often, you can access free tax preparation software through the government website. You will usually have a choice of programs. Look for the program that is suited to your region, and fits your needs. You may prefer software with certain features. Find out how simple and quick the program is. Look into how well it works with your computer web crawler. Check to find information on accuracy. Some programs will catch more mistakes than others will. Some programs will be slower, but feature more questions and reminders about your tax return. Other programs may annoy you with constant reminders to buy the deluxe version.
There are some other reported drawbacks to tax preparation software. Critics say some programs have difficult to understand questions or instructions. Others have long data entry forms that are difficult to fill in. Some work too slowly, or require bank account information you may not want to fill in.
Some free tax preparation programs will offer a variety of calculators that may be handy. Other free tax preparation programs may be confusing. You may wonder if your return was filed correctly. Other programs require you to round out the numbers you enter. If you feel you cannot afford to pay someone to do your taxes for you, a free tax preparation service may be the answer you are looking for.