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Online Tax Preparation

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Online Tax Preparation Choices

If you're considering online tax preparation this year, you've come to the right place. There are several things you should look for in an online tax prep vendor, and knowing what they are can lead you to the best one for you. Remember that you'll be able to select from some of the most well known names in tax expertise.

First of all, you should be sure to use a vendor that offers online and/or phone assistance if you need it. Twenty-four hour access to the program is also important, and you should be able to take a break in the process if you need one and then be able to come back to the same place on the form. The best vendors do not require you to pay until your form is complete.

Online Tax Preparation Tips

Before you begin, you should try to gather all of your pertinent tax documents. You will need all W-2s, 1098s, some receipts, and more. Your program should tell you exactly what to have ready before you start. You will then have to enter the data from those forms into the appropriate fields on your computer screen. If even that much responsibility makes you nervous, look for an online tax preparer that offers the option of pulling the data directly.

The final, and often major, issue is how to make your tax payment or how to receive your refund in the shortest possible time. If you owe taxes, you will be able to pay them online with IRS-approved credit cards or with electronic checks. If you are due a refund, you should elect the direct deposit option. This will get your refund back to you within a few days rather than weeks.

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