Online tax return – filing your tax return online
Tax return online vs. traditional methods
Filing an online tax return is often presented as an easy alternative to traditional filing practices, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the process is self-explanatory.
There are a number of important factors to consider when choosing the right service provider and taking advantage of deduction opportunities.
How to file taxes online
- Gather your tax related documents, such as your W-2s, 1099 forms, charitable contribution receipts, and medical expense information.
- Create an account or login to the online program.
- Follow the interview questions to complete your return. This generally covers your filing status, income sources, and other personal information.
- Submit your return to the IRS and applicable state revenue departments before the due date.
- Pay any taxes you owe to the IRS and the states.
Tips to file taxes online
While there are many options to file a tax return online, you should be mindful of some key best practices to e-file taxes. Start with these tips on how to file taxes online for a successful experience:
Only choose IRS-authorized e-filers
Tax identity theft continues with the growth of e-filing tax services. In many cases, the problem involves using an e-file tax platform that isn’t authorized by the IRS. There are important steps to take to help safeguard your information if you’re working directly with a tax pro. For one, make sure to take advantage of the authorized IRS e-file provider locator, which allows you to contact an IRS-authorized tax professional in your area who has an approved electronic filing program. You can also refer to the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and select qualifications.
Take advantage of IRA contributions and other tax deductions
Say you went through the whole e-file process and aren’t exactly happy with the figure you got. One thing you may be able to do to lower the amount of tax due is to make a deductible IRA contribution if you qualify. With most tax deductions, the deadline for your tax return is December 31 of the previous year. However, those who qualify for IRA contributions can make them up until the tax deadline the following year. Choosing this method can help you keep more of your money in the long run.
Maximize available tax credits
Tax credits are potential refund boosters. In fact, they reduce your taxes dollar-for-dollar of taken.
So, if you have a $500 credit, you reduce your taxes by $500. Many taxpayers don’t even realize potential tax credit opportunities. Here are some common tax credits:
- American Opportunity Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
- Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
- Recovery Rebate Credit
- Premium Tax Credit
Choose direct payment and deposits
One of the most convenient aspects of filing a tax return online is that you can pay with a debit or credit card or take the funds directly from your bank account. Direct deduction and deposit is faster than checks going through the mail, while also reducing the risk of identity theft and processing errors.
Filing online with H&R Block
Wondering how to file taxes online? You can do it a number of ways with the help of H&R Block:
Free Online: File simple returns for free with H&R Block. This option is ideal for students, W-2 employees, and those receiving unemployment income.
Deluxe: Includes everything in Free Online, plus child and depend care expenses and itemized deductions.
Premium: Everything in Deluxe Online, plus rental income, investments, cryptocurrency sales.
Self-employed: Everything in Premium Online, plus rideshare/food delivery drivers, marketplace sellers and claiming business expenses.
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