How much money did you spend this year on having your income tax return prepared for you? How much time did you spend in a tax prep office, waiting or enduring the stressed out environment just so you could pay to have someone do your federal income taxes for you? Well that can change you know- if you are looking for ways to save money then preparing your own income tax return is a big step forward. The DIY movement isn’t just about making your own meals and doing home renovations on your own- it’s also about managing your own finances or preparing your taxes yourself. How is this possible, when we barely have time for all the fun things in life, much less the unpleasant chores like doing taxes. One word: internet.
Why Is It Easy to Prepare Your Own Taxes Now?
Tax prep software companies like TaxAct and TurboTax have been perfecting their systems for years now, and the home version of their software and other like it make taxes a breeze. The IRS has a list of e-file companies that offer software for filing your federal income tax return on its website here. It’s a handy page, a nice place to start if you think you can do your own taxes. By the way, you probably can, with the help of any of the commercial software providers listed on that IRS page.
The format of this type of software is very user friendly and easy to use. Plus, there isn’t one e-file company that doesn’t offer online advice, help, tips, and a database of other tax filers’ questions and answers. In fact, you have the entire internet to search for answers to how to answer the tax questions on your efile software. Always make sure you get answers from website you trust, however. If you stick to the forums run by the software developers themselves, you will probably get some good answers. They have paid professionals on their forums, giving sound tax advice.
How Much Does it Cost to Prepare Your Own Tax Return?
Some companies offer a free version of their software for individual taxpayers. You can even usually efile for free. You’ll usually have to pay for your state tax software, but it will cost you around $15. Quite a lot less than a professional would charge you. Plus, you don’t have to schlump it down to that nasty tax office in the run down part of town and sit amongst miserable bored stressed out people also waiting their turn to file their federal taxes. Those tax offices are very unpleasant. Turns out people get very nasty when it comes to having their taxes prepared for them- they don’t understand it’s not instant, they don’t understand how things work so they take it out on the employees. You don’t want to be around that!
If you purchase the whole shebang package, the software will run you anywhere from $20 to $100 with the top end pricing representing what a small business would pay for a corporate tax package. That’s still less than you’d pay a professional.