IRS Tax Tips

Choosing between tax software, tax preparation service and filing online

Would you like to know more about filing taxes online? Most people donít like doing their taxes and that is where tax software and tax preparation services come into their own. If you have very complicated tax returns, using a tax preparation service is the ideal way to get your taxes done; otherwise, buying software or filing your taxes directly online is the way to go.

It is worth deciding if you really do need a tax preparation service or if you could benefit just as much from a software program. Tax preparation specialists can be expensive to use if you have a fairly basic tax return with no special circumstances. Software can give you all the help you need in this case for a lot less money.

There are many different brands of tax software available. A good software program will make preparing all of the forms easier and will save you a lot of money instead of hiring the services of a tax preparation specialist. If your taxes are fairly basic, doing taxes electronically with software is an obvious choice as you will save time and money.

The first step in finding the best software to use is to check the customer reviews on websites to narrow down your choices. It is important to compare the features and the prices of the software as the most expensive ones do not necessarily have all of the options that you may want or need.

Often, it is ideal to buy the deluxe version of the tax software in order to be able to file both federal and state tax forms. The added benefit of this is that these will include many additional features such as tax advice, IRS publications and other information along with accurate form preparation.

Tax Software Requirements - It is essential that you ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements of any software program that you download or buy. It is also worth investing in a printer so that you can make a hard copy of the forms that you file, even if you file them electronically over the internet. Also make sure that you use the current version of any tax software program as it changes every year along with tax laws.

Remember that you might even be able to deduct the cost of your software from your federal income taxes so it is worth spending a little more to ensure that you have the best. You may not necessarily need to buy a specialized software program as there are services available on the internet that allow you to prepare and file your return directly from the website.

In conclusion, choosing between tax preparation service and software is relative to the complexity of your taxes. When you decide to complete your taxes using software, be sure to check out the customer reviews, decide on the proper package, find the most comprehensive package for least amount of money, be sure you have a printer and remember you can file directly online.

When word gets around about your command of software facts, others will turn to you for expert advice!!

At TaxACT, our products are developed with 5 key elements in mind:

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Upcoming Tax Dates

April 10 Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

April 10 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of March.

April 14 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 16 days of March.

April 15 Individuals
File a 2014 income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6 month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see Form 4868. Then, file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ by October 15.

April 15 Individuals
If you are not paying your 2015 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2015 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.

April 15 Household Employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,800 or more in 2014 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H - Details

April 15 Partnerships
File a 2014 calendar year return (Form 1065) - Details

April 15 Partnerships
Electing large partnerships: File a 2014 calendar year return (Form 1065-B) - Details

April 15 Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2015 - Details

April 15 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 15 Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 15 Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2014 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040). If you are required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040), file Schedule H (Form 1040) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2013 or 2014 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.

April 27 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of March.

April 29 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of April.

April 30 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2015. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 11 to file the return.

April 30 Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

April 30 Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2015.

April 30 Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

April 30 Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in March.

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