October 22, 2009
(NewsUSA) – Wouldn't it be nice to have some peace of mind and
extra cash during these challenging economic times? An increasing number of taxpayers are finding
that by filing their returns electronically and preparing their own taxes.
Regardless of who prepares your tax return, file electronically. Nearly 90 million tax
returns were e-filed in 2008, accounting for almost 58 percent of all returns. The current economy
will likely boost e-filing's appeal in 2009.
E-filing is the fastest way to file because there's no paper for the IRS to process. To
ensure that your information is completely secure, the IRS encrypts data, and you receive
acknowledgment from the IRS within 48 hours. The process is designed so you can e-file your federal
and most state returns at the same time, and it helps identify all tax credits to maximize your
refund. "If you owe taxes, you can still e-file and use an electronic payment option (electronic
funds withdrawal, credit card or recurring payments from your bank account) to pay your balance
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has endorsed e-filing as the best way to file accurate
returns and obtain refunds faster. In fact, the IRS e-file program has been enhanced so that more
people can access it and receive their refunds faster. "These are tough times, and e-file is the
best way for people to get cash in their pocket quickly," said Shulman. "Filing electronically with
direct deposit can get refunds to taxpayers in as few as 10 days."
If you prepare your own taxes, you can choose from online or desktop software products.
Even first-time tax preparers can breeze through the steps. Simple questions guide users through
the process, and varying levels of customer service are usually available.
Tax preparation products are updated each year with features to ensure accuracy, and many
products offer accuracy guarantees and maximum refund amounts based on how and when you file your
return. Some products also include the option to import your tax information from last year -;
usually for a nominal fee -; reminding you of all income and deductions.
To help you receive the maximum return possible, most products include deduction finder
tools. For instance, TaxACT 2008 Deluxe includes Donation Assistant, a tool that tracks the value
of non-cash donations in accordance with current IRS guidelines. "Given the current state of the
economy, we want TaxACT customers to know they're getting the biggest refund possible, without
spending a lot to get it," explains Lance Dunn, CPA and President of 2nd Story Software, Inc.,
makers of TaxACT.
Purchasing a tax preparation product is generally cheaper than having your taxes
prepared by an accountant or CPA. Leading products allow taxpayers to prepare, print and e-file
their federal returns for free, and their state returns at a low cost. "Most people have to file
both federal and state taxes, and state preparation is where the cost really lies for many
taxpayers," states Dunn. "With TaxACT, users won't pay more than $13.95 to prepare, print or e-file
a state return."
Despite the recession, take comfort in knowing you have the option of e-filing quickly and
securely. And consider preparing your own taxes -; it could save you money and even be a pleasant
experience. E-filing, preparing your taxes on your own or doing both could result in getting your
refund sooner and saving money.
Find more information about e-filing and IRS-approved tax preparation products at www.IRS.gov. Information about TaxACT can be found at www.TaxACT.com.