Tax preparation help at the library (Photo credit: Newton Free Library)
Filing your income taxes is one of those necessary evils that nobody looks forward to. It’s a time consuming, highly detailed process that typically requires several hours of your attention. Luckily, in today’s digital world, filing your taxes doesn’t have to be such a headache. Thanks to advances in technology, you can now work with an accountant to file your taxes from the comfort of your own home. There are a couple of different options for electronic filing that help you to save time and money when you’re doing your income taxes.
Let’s face it: we’re all busy and sometimes we just don’t have the time to sit through an hours-long appointment with a tax preparer. When you add in the time spent commuting across town and finding parking, in-person meetings can really start to add up. A number of firms out there that now offer virtual income tax preparation. Some even provide online drop off service, so that you can simply send all of your tax documents in electronically without ever setting foot in a physical office. Nothing is more convenient than that.
You can either choose to work with a large tax preparation service like H&R Block, or an accountant in your area that offers virtual tax preparation services. It’s simply a personal choice based on your comfort level and preferences. Either route you choose, it’s likely you will need to have some face time with your accountant. This can be done in a few different ways. The most common way to connect is through video conferencing that’s done via the web. Some accountants will also connect with you over the phone or through a chat feature that is offered on their website.
Scheduling time to talk via video conference, phone, or live chat ensures that your taxes will be prepared according to your needs and preferences. Generally, filing your income taxes virtually requires a simple conversation at the beginning of the process in order to hammer out necessary details before your accountant gets down to the nitty-gritty of doing your taxes. You then converse by email or phone if there are questions during the process or after the return has been prepared.
Tax preparation software
An estimated 81% of people in the United States filed their taxes electronically last year. While virtual accountants are starting to become more prevalent, it’s likely that the bulk of these individuals used tax preparation services to simplify the filing process. Tax preparation software has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade, with the development of popular programs like TurboTax by Intuit which allow you to complete the filing process online from start to finish.
The program’s popularity is largely attributed to its convenience. TurboTax provides an inexpensive, easy to follow, and convenient solution for filing your income taxes. You can simply download the software or purchase it at a nearby store, run it on your computer and begin entering information from your W-2s and other tax forms. It simplifies the deduction process by taking you step by step through common (and uncommon) tax deductions. Generally, the software helps to maximize your return because it covers all the bases with tax deductions.
If you don’t finish doing your taxes on TurboTax in one sitting, you can always come back to them. The program saves your progress online or on your computer, so you can simply pick up where you left off. Once you’ve completed your tax returns, you can file with the click of a button and opt to receive your refund electronically, or via paper check in the mail. You can also pay your taxes electronically if you end up owing money. It’s a highly convenient solution with little margin for error, and a great choice if you are not particularly confident in your skills when you’re filing taxes on paper.
Thanks to today’s technology, there are a few great ways to minimize the hassle of filing your income taxes, including Intercall’s virtual events and other tech options. If you would like to explore a more convenient solution for filing, look into options for virtual accounting or consider purchasing tax preparation software to simplify the process. Tax software will save you a lot of time and potential frustration!