Finding Tax Preparation Information Online

Finding Tax Preparation Information Online



Finding Tax Preparation Information Online
Believe it​ or​ not,​ one of​ the​ best online tax preparation resources is​ the​ IRS .​
You've got to​ watch your .govs and .coms though .​
Irs.com is​ a​ cleverly disguised informational site fronting for an​ online tax preparation service .​
Despite the​ official-looking building the​ bare-bones look,​ all clicks lead to​ the​ multi-tiered submission options that may get your taxes to​ the​ real IRS,​ and will put a​ little cash in​ their pocket at​ the​ same time .​
I​ think the​ actual IRS.gov site looks a​ bit better,​ to​ tell the​ truth,​ and that is​ where you'll need to​ go to​ get actual tax information from the​ government.
Www.irs.gov has gotten better every year at​ spelling out their procedures and rule changes in​ plain English .​
They have finally chosen to​ begin with the​ assumption,​ as​ the​ rest of​ us do,​ that preparing tax returns is​ destined to​ be a​ confusing process .​
Just as​ their telephone interaction has improved,​ so has their website .​
It's designed for the​ consumer,​ not the​ accountant and it's a​ good place to​ start.
H&R Block is​ something of​ an​ eight hundred pound gorilla in​ the​ tax preparation game; not only have they been operating a​ storefront network for generations but they have also acquired one of​ the​ two major tax prep software programs,​ Tax Cut .​
Their web site has a​ collection of​ related articles that may be of​ value; topics include tax scams,​ higher education deductions,​ the​ alternative minimum tax and other issues that you​ could spend significant time searching for .​
If you're lucky,​ they've written it​ up - and their articles are professional and thorough .​
Other than that,​ the​ site is​ interested in​ selling its online and software versions of​ Tax Cut .​
Www.hrblock.com
There are online tax preparation services galore these days .​
Some of​ them hook you​ up with an​ accounting firm,​ a​ few of​ them will sell you​ a​ software package and send it​ to​ you,​ but most of​ them walk you​ through the​ forms online .​
When you're done,​ you​ can file your federal form electronically .​
Some,​ though not all,​ of​ the​ online sites provide state returns as​ well .​
You can find a​ comprehensive list of​ the​ services out there on​ Yahoo at​ dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Business_to_Business/Financial_Services/Accounting/Firms/Tax_Accounting/Return_Preparation/Online_Preparation_and_Electronic_Filing/
If the​ notion of​ putting your entire financial soul online through a​ faceless website makes you​ nervous - it​ should .​
The e-thieves know opportunity when they see it,​ and tax forms are a​ great resource for identity theft .​
Microsoft has a​ good page on​ the​ subject,​ with multiple recommendations and resources for protecting yourself during the​ electronic tax preparation process .​
It's worth a​ look at​ www.microsoft.com/athome/security/privacy/taxes.mspx .​
AARP has a​ tax preparation assistance program that is​ staffed with trained volunteers .​
This service is​ essentially an​ old-fashioned face to​ face arrangement,​ just as​ you​ would go through with an​ accountant .​
However it's free of​ charge and it's national in​ scope .​
You can visit their site and learn about how it​ works and where to​ find their assistance sites at​ www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/taxpreparation/ .​
Last year they prepared returns for two million people.
Google has an​ excellent page on​ tax preparation that provides categories of​ services such as​ online services and software packages,​ tax forms and tax law .​
They go on​ to​ provide an​ excellent list of​ specific sites for tax preparation information .​
It includes some commercial sites but also lists specific IRS pages,​ consumer tax information sites,​ consumer review sites for online services,​ and sites with advice comments from professionals .​
www.google.com/Top/Home/Personal_Finance/Tax_Preparation/ .​
These are just a​ selection of​ starting points; it​ remains,​ as​ always,​ a​ personal choice: e-rendering unto e-Caesar what is​ e-Caesars's.




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