Friday, February 15, 2008

File your Taxes for Free

I recently found out that there are still many people who don't know they can file their federal income tax for free. So here is my announcement: If you make under about $55,000 a year you can file your taxes electronically, through the internet, for free.

Go to and click on "use free file to file your taxes". You will be given a choice of a large variety of companies to use. Click the link of the company of your choice, and follow the instructions. This is very easy, and the software will guide you through the entire process. If you were to go to H&R Block to do your taxes, the only difference is you would pay over $100. and a tax preparer would input your information on the forms instead of you.

Some tax tips you may not know:

-If you are very low income (under $25,000) taking deductions may actually reduce the amount of your refund. When using the tax software, input your income and dependent information as usual but do not take deductions for daycare or anything else. Record the amount of your refund, then do the tax return with deductions. See which option affords you a larger refund. Although you are entitled to use deductions, you are not required to.

-Double check all social security numbers you are using on your tax forms. Also make sure the name you file under is the same as is on your social security card. For instance, when I married I changed my name on my social security card. When I divorced, I switched back to my maiden name but I haven't taken the time to change the name on my social security card. If I were to try to file under my maiden name (which is on my W-4), my tax return may not process correctly.

-My lawyer says I have to tell you I am not a professional tax preparer, or an accountant, nor do I work for the IRS. Any advice I give is not really advice but rather suggestions based on my personal experience and the extensive research I have undertaken in the subject of low income tax preparation.

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