Monday, March 10, 2014

Taxes: Guide to E-Filing


Read this if: 

1) If you need to file taxes this year and you want to do it electronically. (If you're not sure if you need to, check here.) 

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Tax returns are due on April 15th every year. By now you've probably figured out if you need to file, but may not be sure about where to file. I recommend doing it online, and this post will guide you through the steps.

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Process
  1. Go to the IRS e-file page. There, you can find links to free filing software that is approved by the IRS. 
  2. Choose a company's software to use. 
  3. Make sure you have all of your forms ready before filing. 
  4. File your free federal return. 
  5. File your state return (which may or may not be free). 
  6. Pay what you owe. Boo. Or wait for a check. :) 
Forms You Need

This depends on what types of accounts you have. Here is a general (small) list of forms that may be required: 

  • W-2 - These forms detail your wages, and any taxes that were withheld from your paycheck  
  • 1099-INT- These detail the interest you got from your bank accounts (the ones that generate interest, anyway)
  • 1099-DIV - These show you the dividends you got from your investments (if you don't know what dividends are [LINK HERE])
    • If you don't know if your investment receives dividends, you can easily find out on your account page  
  • 1098-T - This details tuition payments (colleges have to provide this for you and/or your parents) 
  • Information on any other income received that year 

Mini-Review

I tried two different companies because this was my first time filing taxes and I wanted to see what made one better than the other. Both TurboTax and H&R Block were simple to use and very straightforward. However, I ended up going with TurboTax because for some reason, I owed less with them. I'm not sure if this is the case for everyone, or if I just filled things out wrong. 

Bottom Line

File electronically! It'll save you some trouble down the road. 

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Any questions about tax returns? Let me know in the comments!

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As always, contact me with questions or suggestions! 

Comment on the post or email me at moneymattersjoan@gmail.com!
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Photo Credit: Joan - Meme generator

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