How to Prepare Income Taxes. To prepare your income taxes, you must have all of your financial information from the last year, as well as your financial and employment data from the current year. If your financial situation is unusually complex, you may need to consult a professional tax preparer.
Choose whether you plan to prepare your taxes online or via printed forms. Consider the costs and time required for each option.
Obtain your income tax forms if you decide to fill out printed forms. You can get them online, at a library or from a post office. If you are filing as an individual or with your spouse, you probably will need Form 1040 and its instructions. Consult the instructions for Form 1040 to decide whether you need other forms.
Complete the worksheets included with the instructions for Form 1040 before filling out your income tax return. Complete your federal-tax form, and mail it to the IRS office, according to the listing on the back page of the instruction booklet.
Go online to access a list of tax preparers. Visit the IRS website for a list (see Resources below).
Follow the directions to complete your tax preparation on the company's website.
Consult your state-tax agency's website to determine which forms you need to file for state income tax. The forms vary by state, and not all online preparers offer services for filing income tax forms for all states.