How To File Taxes Online

It's that time of year again. That's right, good old Uncle Sam is calling and it's time to file your taxes. While individuals and companies with a complex return may want to seek the advice of a tax prepare professional such as an accountant, the great majority of Americans simply want to file their taxes and get their return quickly. The fastest way to get your taxes filed is by doing so online, but that requires downloading software and paying a fee right? Wrong.

If you made an adjusted gross income of $56,000 or less for the tax year of 2008 you can file your taxes online for free. This is a new program that is being made available through the IRS to make tax preparation easier for individuals. The program is also available for certain businesses, but fees will apply.

Step 1

Visit the IRS' Web site. Go to and click the link that says, "Free File Now Available" that is on the front page. This will open a page that shows you the qualifications for the free file and you will be given the option of finding a company yourself for the free filing or letting the IRS do it for you.

Step 2

Click the button that says, "I Will Choose a Company." This will take you to a page were you will be presented with a number of companies that are participating in this program. You will be able to see exactly what they have to offer and what their rules for the program are. Even the most popular online filing companies such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block are participating, though certain restrictions on income apply from company to company. Find one you are comfortable with and click the link. I personally like CompleteTax and EasyEfile. They're a little easier to use and a little cheaper than the others. You will then be notified that you are leaving the IRS Web site and you will click the "Leave IRS Site" button.

Step 3

Browse the company's Web site. Now you will be on the company page that you chose to work with. Look it over and if you are not comfortable with the company, go back to the IRS Web site and choose another one. If you like what you see, register your information and get started.

There are many benefits to filing your taxes online with one of the participating companies:

•    There is free tax preparation and e-filing if your adjusted gross income is $56,000 or less in 2008.
•    The companies ask simple questions and put your answers on the right forms.
•    They cover the most commonly filed Federal tax forms and schedules.
•    The sites include Federal e-file so that you get your refund in as little as 10 days with direct deposit.
•    The program does the math for you.
•    You will receive a confirmation within 48 hours that your return was received by the IRS.
•    You benefit from Free File's checks for accuracy.
•    The program is even available in Spanish.

There really has never been a better year to file your taxes online. Doing so will save you time and aggravation and ensure that you get your return as quickly as you can.

Jason Kay has filed his taxes online for several years now. It's very affordable and convenient using the services of CompleteTax or EasyEfile tax filing software.

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