In just a few short weeks, those of us who have worked throughout the year will be receiving W-2 forms, and will be preparing to file Federal Tax Returns. Many people are asking themselves if it would be possible for them to fill out their own Federal Tax forms. With the economy the way it is, everyone is trying to save money where ever they can; and preparing your own Federal Tax Return is one easy way of doing that. I have always had a policy of, “why should I pay someone good money, to do a job that I can easily do myself?” Even if you do not have a background in accounting, it is really quite easy to prepare your own Federal Tax Returns. The following tips should help ease the tension you may feel, as you set out to prepare your Federal Tax Return on your own.
Know Which Form to Use
Unless you are self – employed, you will be needing one of three forms; 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040. 1040EZ is the easiest, and most basic. In order to use this form, you must be single or married filing jointly; with no dependents. Form 1040A allows some tax credits. You can claim dependents, child/dependent care expenses, earned income credit, adoption, elderly and disabled and for education. Form 1040 allows for a total itemized list of all of your allowable credits.
Go online to http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc352.html. There is a complete list of all the requirements for each form. It will make the decision much easier, as to which form best fits your needs.
Use Instruction Booklet
The Instruction Booklet for each Federal Tax Form is very easy to use. You will notice as you look at your W-2 and your Federal Tax Form; the numbers in each of the boxes correspond with each step in the instruction booklet, so it is real easy to follow. The instruction book also explains itself as you go along, so that you are able to understand what you are doing.
If you did not receive one in the mail, or if you want to use a different form than you did last year, you can pick one up at your local library or post office. If you don’t want to bother with that, go online to http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/formspubs/index.html. There is a list of every Federal Form and instruction booklet you need.
Use the Internet
If you don’t have access to the internet, use your local library. Most libraries now have computers on the internet, and all you have to do is call and schedule a time for one of the computers. Go online to http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/tax_tips/index.html. This is an excellent site, and there are articles and tax tips that will help in your tax preparation, and will also help you maximize your deductions.
Are You in a Hurry?
Preparing your Federal Taxes online is the quickest way to file, and to get your return; if you have one coming. Go online to http://www.irs.gov/efile. In the past there has been a cost to e-file your Federal taxes, but on the sight this year they tell you to check back on January 16, 2009 to see if you qualify to file your taxes free. Along with e-filing your taxes, if you have your return come to you through direct deposit, you can have it within 10 day.
If you have questions on anything concerning your taxes, don’t hesitate to contact IRS. Almost every year I have to call with at least one question, and I have always been treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. They really do make it a pleasant experience. You can contact IRS about any question on your Federal Taxes Monday – Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. at 1-800-829-1040 for individuals, and 1-800-829-4933 for business.
Good Luck, and keep reminding yourself of the money you are saving!