Tax season is upon us. Taxes have been able to be filed, but the IRS did not start processing taxes until February 12th.
Filing taxes can seem like a daunting task, but with the help of online tax filing services it has never been easier. Everything you will need came be found on the IRS website if you know where to look. The IRS has created a private partnership with many industry leaders that allow users to use their brand-name products for free, but only if you go through the proper channels. Turbotax for example is in partnership with the IRS in their Free Filing program if you use the links provided by the IRS. If you simply go to Turbotax website there will be a fee included. There may still be a preparation fee for state taxes as the Free File program only applies to federal taxes.
Where do I file my taxes?
To begin you will need to access the “Free File” section of the IRS which can be found here. Free File is currently open and available. Upon arrival there are two options, Income for $72,000 and below and Income above $72,000.
If you belong to the below $72,000 category you will be taken to a page that will explain what documents, you need to compete your filing, these include income statements such as W2s or 1099s.
When you are ready to file, you are able to browse all of options included in the Free Filing program. These options are provided by industry leaders such as turbotax, TaxSlayer and many more. Each program varies slightly by target audience so you will want to make sure you are picking the service that best fits you. When you find the service that best fits you, you will be redirected to their website, but since you went through the Free File program from the IRS website your filing is free.
If you belong to the above $72,000 category you will have to select “Free File Fillable Forms”. This avenue of filing is different than using the services provided for the sub $72,000 category. The fillable forms are electronic federal tax forms that can be filed for free online. These forms will allow you enter your tax information online, electronically sign and file your return and print your return for personal records. The major difference of the two is that free fillable forms does not give guidance, so you should be comfortable doing your taxes on your own.
Your taxes are not filed until you receive an email verifying that the IRS has received your submission.
When will I get my return?
You can track where your tax return is in and an estimated date that you will receive your tax refund by using “Where’s My Refund” tool provided by the IRS, or their mobile app IRS2Go. Most refunds will be issued within three weeks of filing. If you use the free file program or another form of online filing, you can begin checking the status of your refund within 24 hours. If you mail your tax return you will have to wait at least four weeks to check the status.
Taxes are due on April 15th, but that date may change like it did last year to give people more time to file during the pandemic.