Tips for Tax Procrastinators: Use tax software

We know the tax code is complex, and the zillions of available forms and schedules don't make things any less confusing. Doing a tax return by hand is almost impossible these days, unless you have a super simple tax situation.

Whether your tax return is easy or complicated, you'll probably have an easier time of it if you use tax software. There are great tax packages out there, including Turbo Tax and Tax Cut. They simplify the process of preparing a tax return because the software tells you what forms you need and offers them to you. No more searching the instructions or the IRS website for the forms you need. Tax software also helps cut down on errors by alerting you to important items that need to be included in your tax return.

If you're confident about your tax situation, you can certainly try using one tax software. However, filling out the software's questionnaire is no substitute for a tax preparer with in-depth knowledge of the tax laws. Use tax software with caution.

Read more Tips for Tax Procrastinators

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
What is a Schedule K-1 Tax Form?
The Schedule K-1 is slightly different depending on whether it comes from a trust, partnership or S corporation. Find out how to use this tax form to accurately report your information on your tax return.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Business Use of Vehicles
If you use vehicles in your small business, how and when you deduct for the business use of those vehicles can have significant tax implications. It pays to learn the nuances of mileage deductions, buying versus leasing and depreciation of vehicles. Special rules for business vehicles can deliver healthy tax savings.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
How to Change Your Tax Filing Status
Choosing your filing status is an important first step for preparing your federal tax return. Your filing status determines your standard deduction, tax rates and brackets.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
A Guide to Self-Employment Taxes for Contractors, Freelancers, and Beyond [Infographic]
If you work for yourself and don't call anyone your boss, you're likely self-employed. This carries advantages, like not having a manager and deciding your own hours. But it also comes with trade-offs, like paying the self-employment tax and paying for your own employee benefits.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com