As you might already know, we’re giving away 3 FREE iPads to three random winners who file their taxes through us using one of three great online tax filing services: Turbo Tax, TaxAct Online, or H&R Block. I was really glad to see that TaxAct was included in the “Big 3,” because I’ve been using them for the past 5 years to file my taxes, and I’ve never had a bad experience using their online product. One of our staff writers, Joanna, did a really good, in-depth review of TaxAct that you can read about before you use them.
It Took Me An Hour To Do My Taxes
This is partly because I was organized and partly because of TaxAct. I had all of my tax documents already sitting in a folder. I knew exactly which deductions and credits I was going to claim, and my faithfulness to a particular online tax filer helped speed up the process. If you’ve used TaxAct in the previous year to file your taxes, it automatically retrieves the information from the previous year and pre-fills it for you. Since I didn’t move and my wife didn’t change jobs since last tax season, I didn’t have to fill out any of our contact information, and I didn’t have to fill out any contact information on my wife’s W-2. All I had to fill in were the salary and tax withholding boxes. TaxAct also knew which deductions and credits I took last year, so it reminded me of the ones that I might be eligible for again this year, but it was very easy to delete the information for the ones that I would not be claiming this year. I breezed through their entire online platform, because it’s just so easy to use.
I paid the $9.95 for the Deluxe Version
I don’t have extremely complicated taxes for 2009, but I will in 2010 since I started a business this year. Even so, I paid the $10 to have the Deluxe version, because I would be itemizing my deductions this year, and paying the extra money gives you access to a wealth of information about deductions and credits and if I’m eligible for them or not.
Our House Saved Us From Owing Taxes
Even though I hated seeing the actual dollar amount we paid to the bank in interest on our home in 2009, it was 100% deductible, and it was the turning point that took my return from owing money to getting a refund. The student loan interest, contributions to my IRA, and contributions to my HSA were more great deductions that I claimed and reduced our taxable income by quite a bit.
Choose Where Your Money Goes
I recommend direct depositing your tax refund. If you get it in check form, you might be tempted to cash it and spend the money on crap you don’t need. If you’re worried about it going into your checking account, TaxAct has a feature where you can choose multiple accounts to send the money to. You can make it so that half of it goes to your savings account and the other half go to your checking account.
What lessons, tips, and tricks did you learn while filing your taxes this year? If you haven’t filed yet, make sure you file through us to get entered into our iPad Giveaway!
(photo credit: Salen Public Library )