|The Tax Man Cometh|
|One-Stop Guide To Income Tax Resources|
Dateline: November 27, 2005
The Internet has all the resources you need to prepare your state and federal income tax returns, ensure that you don't pay a penny more than necessary, and get your refund as quickly as possible.
In addition to the State and Federal tax links in this article, there are several excellent sites that will help you maximize your tax savings. WorldWideWeb Tax, an online tax filing service, has compiled a comprehensive income tax directory. Here you'll find answers to nearly any income tax question, written in plain English. Quicken also offers timely tax advice and information on deductions, IRAs, tax rates and rules. 1040.com offers articles on itemized deductions, students and taxes, 2005 tax law changes, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and more. Microsoft's MoneyCentral also provides information on deductions, extensions, tax preparation, property taxes, retirement, self employment, and other tax-related subjects, and SmartMoney includes a wide range of tax articles for those with more complex tax situations (investments, nanny tax, self-employment taxes, stock options, vacation homes, moving expenses, college tax breaks, etc.).
To find out whether you should hire a professional to prepare your return or do it yourself, take MoneyCentral's Tax IQ Test. If you decide to do it yourself, you can purchase excellent, easy-to-use tax preparation software such as Intuit's Turbo Tax (my personal favorite), for $20 to $50 at Staples (with rebates) or other office supply stores, or online. Turbo Tax uses an interview format to obtain the necessary information from you, does all the calculations and forms preparation, and even offers advice on reducing your taxes. You can then file your return electronically or print the forms out and mail them. See my review of Turbo Tax Deluxe.
If you decide to leave the preparation of your tax returns to the experts, check out Yahoo's list of Tax Preparers (enter your city and State).
If you received a large refund this year, you may want to adjust your withholding so you can receive this money in your paycheck each week instead of lending it to the government throughout the year. If you had to write a check for taxes due with your return, you should definitely review your W-4 and make adjustments so this doesn't happen next year. The IRS' W-4 Calculator will help you determine how many exemptions you should be claiming.
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