6 reasons to break up with your tax store


March and early April mark the busiest time of the year for filing taxes. With millions of people rushing to get their taxes done before April 18th, scheduling an appointment with a tax expert can be a nightmare. If you're on the fence about taking the DIY approach, below are a few reasons you may want to consider breaking up with your tax store.

1. It's cost efficient. Hiring someone else to prepare your tax return can get expensive. If you have a simple tax return (1040 EZ or 1040A) and your income qualifies, you can file your federal taxes for absolutely free with TurboTax.

2. Filing yourself is easy. Using TurboTax online is easy, and can help you save money. Knowledge of tax laws and tax forms is not necessary. Once you have gathered your tax forms, you just go online and answer simple, personalized questions to get your maximum tax refund. TurboTax searches through over 350 tax deductions and credits to make sure you get every penny you deserve based on your answers.

Get started today with a guide to common tax forms:

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Guide to commonly-used US tax forms
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Guide to commonly-used US tax forms

The 1040 family of tax forms is for federal income tax and is absolutely essential for all.

The 1040EZ form is the simplest version and is typically filed by those who:

  • Have no dependents
  • Are younger than 65
  • Earned less than $100,000
  • Don’t plan to itemize deductions

Form 1040A is more comprehensive than 1040EZ, but simpler than the regular 1040. It's beneficial for those who earn less than $100,000 and don’t have self-employment income -- but who want to make adjustments to their taxable income, such as child tax credits or deductions for student-loan interest. Note that it doesn't allow for itemized deductions.

Form 1040 is filled out by those who make $100,000 or more, have self-employment income or plan to itemize deductions.

The W-2 is completed by employers document each employee's earnings for the calendar year. You will want to take a look at this tax form for important information you'll need to fill out your 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. 
The 1098 form is filled out by those who:
  • paid interest on a mortgage
  • paid interest on a student loan 
  • paid college tuition
  • donated a motor vehicle to charity

The 1099 series is reports all income that isn’t salary, wages or tips, and must be reported on both the state and federal level.

1099-DIV reports dividends, distributions, capital gains and federal income tax withheld from investment accounts, including mutual fund accounts.

1099-INT trakcs interest income earned on investments.

1099-OID (Original Issue Discount) is provided if you received more than the stated redemption price on maturing bonds.

1099-MISC documents self-employment earnings, as well as miscellaneous income such as royalties, commissions or rents. It covers all non-employee income that is not derived from investments.

If you receive a refund that you're unable to pay in full, you can request a monthly installment plan using Form 9465.
Don't forget to notify the IRS if you move! Use Form 8822 to change your address with the Internal Revenue Service. Otherwise, notices, refunds paid with a paper check and other correspondence relating to your personal, gift and estate taxes will be sent to your former address.
Anyone who has been employed by a company has completed a Form W-9. The W-9 is used by employers for payroll purposes -- and the information on the W-9 is used to prepare employee paychecks during the year and W-2 forms at the end of the year. 
The W-4 is an IRS form completed for employers know how much money to withhold from your paycheck for federal taxes. Accurately completing your W-4 can both ensure you don't have a big balance due at tax time and also prevent you from overpaying your taxes.
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3. Get tax savvy. Another perk about using tax software to file your taxes is that you might learn a thing or two. What tax software can do is show how the current tax credits and deductions affect you. For example, if you bought a house in 2016, you will see how that may increase your tax refund -- and you might learn about itemizing your deductions versus taking the standard deduction. Becoming more knowledgeable about your own taxes can be empowering and easy with TurboTax -- not to mention you'll impress your friends!

4. DIY doesn't mean you're alone with TurboTax. When you file your taxes with TurboTax you have the convenience of filing your taxes when and where you want, and help is available 24/7 through a variety of support channels. With TurboTax SmartLook™, included with most TurboTax online products, you can connect live, via one-way video, to a credentialed CPA or enrolled agent to get personalized, real-time answers to your toughest tax questions if you need it.

5. File online with direct deposit. Last tax season about three out of four tax filers received a tax refund, and, according to the IRS, the average refund was close to $2,800! The IRS states that it plans to issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less after acceptance with e-file and direct deposit. You can go online and e-file with direct deposit and have access to your refund soon allowing you to get a jump-start on paying down credit card debt, student loans or save it for a rainy day.

6. Skip the line! With people rushing to get their taxes done from now until April 18th, there's no reason to wait in line at a tax store or fight to find an appointment that fits your schedule when you can do your taxes from the comfort of your own home. You can even do so on the go! TurboTax allows you to seamlessly switch between tablet, phone, and computer so that you can do your taxes where you want, when you want.

Whether you have just one W-2 or multiple, own property, or are self-employed, you can do your taxes yourself with TurboTax. TurboTax can help save you valuable time and money.

Article provided by TurboTax.com

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