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Online Tax Prep

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Online Tax Prep Options

With 53 million taxpayers using the online prep and filing option last year, you can be sure that most of the major tax experts, such as H & R Block, offer their services online. You may wonder how this can help you and what it will cost. If you hate doing your taxes and worry about whether you're doing them right, then doing your taxes online is the best move you can make.

Basically, it starts with you gathering all of your tax documents, including W-2s, 1098s, other Federal forms, and items such as receipts and unreimbursed medical bills you paid. Next you will select an online tax preparer. Once you start the process, you will be asked questions that will help you determine which form to use.

Online Tax Prep Advantages

You'll find, as you're guided through the process, that you will understand exactly what to enter because the questions will help you. You'll also often have access to email or phone assistance if you need it. You will not be required to pay for the tax preparation services until you complete the form and choose your method of filing. At that point, the program will run a check on your return to determine if there are any errors or problems.

You will have your choice of eighter printing out your return and mailing it or filing it electronically. The latter option generally includes a confirmation of receipt directly from the IRS within a day or so. That's good news, especially if you have a refund coming. If you do, be sure to elect the direct deposit option, and your refund will be there within a few days rather than weeks. If you owe tax money, you can pay online using any one of several authorized types of credit card, or you can pay by electronic check. That's it. It's easy. It's fast. It's secure.

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