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Learn Tax Preparation

If the very idea of preparing your own taxes gives you a headache, the first trick to overcoming the hassle is not to panic! The average person is more than capable of completing their own tax returns (despite what your tax accountant may tell you).

Before you fill out any forms, it is best to figure outwhich form you need. For the US Individual Income Tax Return Form 1040 there are three different versions: Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, and Form 1040. Each form has its own unique requirements and availability.

The easiest of all the three forms is Form 1040EZ. It's the simplest and most direct, but it is also the most limited. Unfortunately, only those who meet the requirements can use the Form 1040EZ. Its requirements are as following: the person is under the age of sixty-five and has no dependents, that person also has no more than $1,500 of taxable interest income, no itemized deductions, has had no advance earned income tax credit (EITC), and that the person's taxable income from line six is less than $100,000. Keep in mind that there are other qualifications, so before filling out and filing this form, a person must read all the instructions and requirements to make sure that they are qualified to use it.

The second easiest of the three forms is Form 1040A. It is slightly more difficult than the 1040EZ but a person can use this form if they don't have itemized deductions, their taxable income is less than $100,000, they claim certain restrictive tax credits, and that their source of income comes from one or more of the following sources: wages, tips, and salaries; capital gains, taxable scholarship and fellowship grates, and unemployment compensation.

The hardest of all the forms is Form 1040. However, nearly three-quarters of all US-based tax payers must fill out this form version. So for those who are stuck with this form - you are not alone.

Preparing your taxes can be simplified further by using tax software like TurboTax or TaxCut. However, if a person does not want to do their taxes themselves, they can always hire a tax accountant or service to do it for them. About half of all Americans use some sort of tax preparation service. However, the price of using such services can range from $100 - $1000 dollars. Prices depend on the complexity of your tax returns, so if a person can do it themselves, they can really save a lot of money.

While it is a daunting task to prepare your taxes, it is not impossible to complete. With a little foresight, basic knowledge, and work - anyone can get the job done.

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