Paying your taxes online is a safe, convenient and efficient way to file your tax returns. Software packages walk you through the process with guidelines to follow and caveats to heed, which makes paying Uncle Sam easier than ever. Take this quiz and find out how easy it is to fill out those tax forms.
April 15 is the last date to file tax returns, after which there are penalties for late submissions.
Doing your taxes online is relatively secure as long as the Web site has a valid security certificate and your password is strong.
In 2008, about 90 million people filed their income taxes online.
With online banking, you don’t need to keep any paper receipts or records. All that information is available on the computer.
Some banks offer a service that allows you to tag any tax-deductible expenses you build up during the year or one that creates a summary of your annual spending habits.
Filing your tax returns electronically helps assure they get where they need to go and, if applicable, you’ll receive your refund more quickly.
If you want to know when your tax refund will arrive, you can track its progress by computer.
TurboTax is a software program that gently guides you through the tax return jungle.
As the TurboTax program calculates the sums you enter, you don’t have to worry about your math skills.
More than 20 percent of Americans wait until the last week to file their taxes. As theirs are often the most complicated forms, they tend to make more mistakes in their rush to complete them.
One of the most common errors people make is that they neglect to sign the form. This happens most often with people who are in a rush to complete their tax returns at the last minute.
It costs the IRS less to process an e-file than a paper one. An e-file costs them 35 cents, while a paper return costs them $2.87 to process.
The IRS does make mistakes sometimes, so if they send you a letter saying that you have made a math mistake on your return, make sure to check their calculations as well.
The easiest way to get information about changes in tax codes is through the IRS Web site (irs.gov). Click on the section called LATEST NEWS to get the most current updates.
If you made a mistake on a previous return, you can file an amended income tax return on Form 1040-X. You have three years from the filing initial date in which to submit it.
Your previous tax returns will help you see trends in your income taxes and can help you prepare your returns the next time around.
British nightclub bouncer Mark Vaughan tried to fake his own death in 2007, while financier Marcus Schrenker tried to get away with it in 2009. Vaughan was apprehended two years later, while authorities caught up with Schrenker within a few days.
Phishing is a ploy whereby scam artists claiming to represent the IRS send e-mails to taxpayers to try to gather private financial information about them. Note: The IRS never sends unsolicited e-mails or asks for detailed personal and financial information, so be wary of any such requests, and forward any suspicious e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items such as charitable donations, medical expenses and mortgage interest are some of the costs that are deemed as deductions. If they add up to more than the standard deduction you are granted, they can lower the tax on your income.
If you can’t afford to pay your taxes in one shot, you can file an installment agreement request. Form 9465 lets you outline a payment schedule if you meet a certain set of criteria. You’ll be charged interest and penalties, but it will cost you less than not filing at all.