How can I do my taxes with my computer

Using your PC to do your taxes is easier today than it has ever been. You can usually buy tax-preparation software for less than $50 (often much less if purchased online) which is far less expensive than paying a 'tax professional' to prepare your taxes for you. Even if you usually prepare your taxes yourself, using tax preparation software can save a lot of time and frustration, and often help you get deductions and a bigger refund by asking you questions and giving you information you may not have been aware of! Even if your taxes are moderately complex, tax preparation software on your computer can help you do your taxes easier, faster and better than filling out all the IRS forms by hand.

Another common question is: Is it safe and secure to do my taxes on my computer?

The short answer is yes.
The two largest selling tax-preparation packages, Turbo Tax and Tax Cut have been used by millions of users for the last 10-15 years.
If you choose an 'online' tax preparation service, meaning that you fill out all your forms over the internet via a web-page, make sure that the service uses Secure SSL technology on their website, and be sure to read the privacy policy to ensure that they will not sell your information to 3rd parties.
If you use a software-based tax preparation package such as Turbo Tax or Tax Cut, this is not an issue.

What to look for in tax preparation software

When shopping for a tax preparation remember that you need both the federal and state programs. Some packages come bundled with both, others must be purchased individually. Watch out for tax software "suites" that have more in them that you actually need. If you purchase your tax software online, you can sometimes pick-and-choose only the modules you need.

What is e-File?

e-File is the fastest, most accurate way to file your IRS tax return. Using e-file your tax return is submitted electronically directly to the IRS computer system. When you combine e-File with direct deposit for your tax refund, you can get your refund deposited into your account in as little as 7-10 days! Most tax software programs for your PC offer free e-File, others charge a few dollars for it.

More information on e-file, click here for the IRS e-file website

Members: Post your tax-related questions in our Tax Help For Beginners Forums!