A dreaded time of the year is rapidly approaching once again that will keep people up at night, and push the boundaries of procrastination yet again. This time of year is tax season, and every year people dread pulling all of their information together and hauling it over to their local CPA (certified public accountant) to figure out how much they owe, or for the more fortunate group how much they will be receiving back.
A CPA is great when it comes time to file your taxes, but what if you could file your taxes just as accurately with the same amount of deductions from the comfort of your own home for cheaper? You can and it is with a program called Turbo Tax. Turbo Tax has been around for several years and has great functionality when it comes to filing your tax returns. Turbo Tax will take you through a step by step questionnaire to make sure you are getting the maximum potential out of your charitable donations as well as other deductible expenses.
Start Filing Taxes With Turbo Tax
To begin, all you will need to do is go to TurboTax.com, there you will find a variety of different Turbo Tax programs. The different types of options range from a 1040ez form for your children, all the way up to an easy to use program for small business to maximize a business tax return. There are also a couple of stepping stones in between for a family who owns a house with medical expenses, as well as an individual who invests his or her own money in stocks and bonds to help calculate capital gains taxes, or loss deductions. All of the different options you get to start for free, and pay when you are satisfied with your filing. You can either go to a local store and purchase the disc version of the software, or you can simply download Turbo Tax from the online web page. Also, if you have used Turbo Tax in the past, it will help you out this year by auto filling a lot of repetitive information from your last year’s tax return. I will now go through a step by step process of how Turbo Tax works and what the process will be like for you when you download Turbo Tax.
First you will start off by clicking on the Start For Free button once you have chosen which version suits you best by reading the description. After you have decided which version is best for you, you will begin the step by step process on how to fill your taxes out the easy way with little confusion. There are a series of steps the program will take you through which will appear in the top bar like this.
Depending upon the version you have chosen to use the bar may be slightly different. Turbo Tax will begin right away by asking you some questions about what has happened to you in the past year such as getting married, changing career, or even paying some type of educational expense. The great part about Turbo Tax is the user friendly approach that is taken to ask you the necessary questions to maximize your return. For my mock trial I will pay some educational expenses and receive a Job.
Right after entering this information you will then be taken to another screen which will quickly explain to you what types of forms are needed to be filled out as well as what these forms purpose is, the window will look like the following.
After you have told Turbo Tax what major events have happened to you in the past year they will take you through the standard personal information sheet as well as some quick questions on your state of residence. Following the personal information sheet you will then be asked a series of questions pertaining to the boxes you checked earlier in your Turbo Tax experience (remember I chose college expenses and new Job), the majority of the questions will be of yes or no format continuing the user friendly process. All of the questions are also very leading and informative to try and steer you in the most accurate direction so that your return will be filed without any difficulty. An example is as follows.
Along the way when you are brought to a question that will have the most impact on your return or the amount that you will owe to the government, there will be an easy guide button that will take you through a more informative approach. This more informative approach is designed with you in mind so that again you will be able to maximize your possible return. The example below is the easy guide link for claiming dependents.
Once you have gone through and been asked to save your work and create a personal login name (which is highly recommended because this will save all the repetitive information into the database), Turbo Tax will suggest what type of filling is best for you. The recommendation will look like this.
After you have then gone through and filled in all the more pertinent information to the process you will be taken all the way up to the point where you will have your taxes e-filed over the internet. The more pertinent information I speak of is more sensitive such as salary, as well as all of the information you would find on your W-2 from your employers. In this section Turbo Tax will not let you down because they will take you step by step through the process so that you will answer every question with 100% accuracy. Filing your taxes has never been easier or quicker! After you submit your taxes through Turbo Tax you can expect your return to come more rapidly then it has ever come in the past. Last year I filed with Turbo Tax online and received my tax return only two weeks later in the mail. This is subject to change due to the complexity of your filling, but the entire process for me took only about twenty-five minutes from start to finish.
Some helpful advice to make your Turbo Tax experience as pleasant as it can be is to have the following information sitting with you when you sit down at your desk to begin the process. Have your W-2’s of you and your spouse if you are married, have the W-2 of any children that you have who you claim as a dependent, as well as any major deductions you know that you will be claiming such as charitable donations, also if you have a child going through college make sure that you have a record of the amount you are personally paying for their college handy so that you can deduct this form your taxes. Once you have all of this ready to go the process will be pain free so there is no reason to procrastinate this tax season, go out and get or Turbo Tax and get your taxes done in no time!