Helpful Tips For Choosing DIY Tax Preparation Tools
(BPT) - Tax season is officially here. Last year, 40 percent of Americans chose to file their own taxes – but not all do-it-yourself tax preparation tools are created equal. For those consumers who like to sit in the driver’s seat when filing, here are five tips for what to look for when choosing at-home tax preparation products.
1. Ability to work seamlessly between devices
Filing taxes can be a lengthy process, with multiple forms and pages to complete for a thorough review. Sometimes, doing it all in one sitting just isn’t in the cards. Some tax preparation tools offer consumers the ease of switching back and forth from desktop to tablet to mobile. And for those who like to file on the go, mobile-optimized tax preparation tools makes it convenient to file with any device.
2. Real-time tracking of which entries change your refund
Unless filing with a tax preparer, it can be difficult to gauge how the final refund is calculated. Some tax preparation tools offer filers the ability to track their refund in real-time, helping users understand which calculations contributed to any increases or decreases in their return.
3. Incentives to filing
Most DIY tax preparation tools offer filers the choice of receiving their refund by check or by direct deposit. However, a select few provide additional incentives for choosing their service when filing. For example, tax filers who file online or via software with H&R Block have the option of putting any portion of their refund on an e-gift card to one of 40 different retailers. For doing so, they can receive up to a 10 percent bonus. This special offer also can be a great way to offset some or part of the cost of filing – another reason H&R Block can help get filers the maximum refund at the lowest price.
4. Free expert advice
Almost one-third of DIY tax filers itemize. That means additional tax forms and a more complex return than the basic 1040. For those who like to file their own taxes but feel more confident with having backup, certain tax preparation tools offer a free, real-time chat option with tax professionals to guide them along the process and answer questions as they work through forms. Certain preparers also offer consumers phone and in-person support.
5. Maximum refund at the best value
When picking a tax preparation tool, make sure to choose the one that best matches your situation at the best value. These tools are often differentiated by complexity, with the cheapest offering the simplest return to the most complicated providing tax support to small business owners. For those consumers who recently purchased TurboTax’s software for their 2014 filing but learned that certain forms once included were no longer available, they can email SwitchToBlock@hrblock.com with a proof of purchase of their 2014 TurboTax software and receive Deluxe State desktop software for free from H&R Block.
Americans filed 56 million self-prepared tax returns in 2014, leaving the market open for plenty of options at tax time. Remember to do your homework and pick the tool that best serves your filing needs.
- 10 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score
- Get Out of Debt with Help From the Web
- Worthy Personal Finance Apps
- Save Big With These Online Tax Programs
- Spend Less with These In-Store Apps
- Getting Started with Mobile Payment Apps
- Find the Right Loan to Realize Your Financial Goals
- How Women Can Plan For Their Financial Futures
- Tax Hints Every Investor Should Know
- Common Tax Return Blunders To Avoid
Tax Time Tips: How To Combat Tax Identity Theft Fraud
- How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Your Taxes
- How Obamacare May Affect Your Tax Refund
- How To Maximize Your Tax Refund and Cut Monthly Expenses
- Helpful Tips For Choosing DIY Tax Preparation Tools
- What's Your Path To Retirement Happiness?
- Hoping To Retire In 10, 20 Or 40 Years? Here's What You Need To Know Now
- This 30-Minute Check Could Increase Your Retirement Savings
- 5 Money Traps To Avoid Each Month
- 4 Things You Should Know About Choosing Your First Credit Card
- The 6 Smartest Money Moves Millennials Can Make
- Busting First-Time Homebuyer Myths
- Ways First-Time Homebuyers Can Make Themselves Mortgage-Ready
- 5 Tips To Slash Prescription Drug Costs
- Tips And Tricks For Filing Your Taxes Last Minute
- A Lesson in Tax Deductions
- 3 Smart Ways to Stretch Your Retirement Savings
- Why Paying Off Your Mortgage in Retirement May Not Be the Best Idea
- Wedding Costs Soar to New Highs
- 4 Ways to Pay Off Your Debt for Good
- Best Financial Move: Buy or Rent a House?
- What Is a Good Credit Score?
- How Much Home Can You Comfortably Afford?
- What Makes Up a Mortgage Payment
- What to Do When You Can't Pay Your Taxes
- The Retirement Lies We Tell Ourselves
- Obamacare and Your Tax Return
- Don't Miss These Money-Saving Tax Breaks
- 5 Deals We Shouldn't Fall For
- Apps That Will Help You Save Time and Money
- The Best Way to Teach Children About Money
- This Is Why You Talk About Money Before You Get Married
- The Top Money-Saving Shopping Apps
- Secrets to Saving at the Supermarket
- How to Stick to a Budget
- Becoming Financially Independent
- Budgeting for Baby
- Is a World Without Wallets Coming Soon?
- How to Cut the Cost of Daily Chores
- A Coupon Expert Cuts Your Grocery Bill in Half
- How to Play Catch-Up on Retirement Savings
- Best Dollar Store Deals
- 6 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
- The Money Conversation All Couples Should Have
- Why Seeking More Money Hurts Happiness
- 11 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Finances
- Parents: Stop Being So Awkward With Money
- How to Avoid Being a Financial Burden on Your Children
- Brainless Money Rules to Live By
- How to Break Up With Your Financial Adviser
- How to Help Family Members Without Hurting Your Own Finances
- The Key to Creating and Sticking to a Budget
- Ways to Donate to Charity on the Cheap
- What's the Best Way to Give Money to Charity?
- Why Money Really Can Buy Happiness
- How to Finance Life Until 100
- How to Calculate Your Retirement Number
- 10 Important Ages for Retirement Planning
- How to Save More Now With Savvy Budgeting
Personal Finance: "Helpful Tips For Choosing DIY Tax Preparation Tools"