These tips on how to save money when filing your taxes will help you save money on tax preparations services this tax season.
Unless you are a tax professional or very well-seasoned when it comes to preparing your taxes, you probably get some help doing it. With new laws and tax breaks every year, it’s enough to leave your head spinning and worrying that you did it right. Getting your taxes prepared or doing them at home can be expensive if you need help. Let’s look at how to save money when filing your taxes.
How To Save Money When Filing Your Taxes
Know that you may be able to get help for free. If you are 55 or older, many aging services offer free preparation of taxes during the tax season. If you don’t qualify for that, you could still get them prepared for free through the IRS. In many states, if you have an income below $58,000 a year and are just doing a 1040 or 1040 EZ, you can have an IRS worker prepare your taxes with you for free. Don’t worry, you won’t be set up to get audited, and they will tell you about tax breaks you qualify for. However, you need to make an appointment a couple weeks in advance most of the time.
File your taxes online using TurboTax. If you use TurboTax Federal Free Edition you receive Free preparation and free Efiling for your simple tax return. You will be navigated through the process of preparing your returns and there is live online help.
Use a small service or private CPA. It may seem like the big tax filing service providers would have the most competitive rates. However, they only have competitive rates with each other, not with the small business CPA. Many times, you can get a much lower price by going to a private CPA. They will often charge a flat fee over several small fees for itemized tax preparation issues such as IRA’s, business expenses and deductions.
Buy tax software early in the tax preparation season or after it. Buying tax software for your home can be cheaper if you do it early in the year. It can also be less expensive if you buy it after the deadline (if you know you will be filing an extension).
Check with your bank or credit card for discounts. Many banks, financial institutions, and credit card companies offer discounts on tax preparation services with the major providers or on software for home preparation.
Look for discounts in the mail. Sign up for local tax preparation services via their newsletter or mail and you could get discounts starting as early as January. Even if you don’t sign up, you may get flyers with discounts from local CPA services, so be on the look-out and don’t just toss them until you know if you will be using them or not.
Look for help if you have veteran status or are active duty military. You can get your taxes filed and prepared for free through your local VA.
Look for CPA students in your area. If you have a college in your city or town, you may be able to find CPA or accounting students willing to do your tax preparation for free or at a very reduced price because they are looking for the practice. Usually, these students know the newest tax rules and shortcuts so they can often do them fast and get you the maximum on your deductions and return.