How to Submit a Tax Return Online

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It's easier and faster to file taxes online.
It's easier and faster to file taxes online. (Image: tax forms image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com)

Doing your taxes online is much easier and faster than doing them on paper. There is far less room for mistakes. If your income is $57,000 or less, the return can be done free rather than paying exorbitant fees to have it done. Using direct deposit for your refund can get the money to your bank in as little as eight to 10 days. To do your taxes online, all you need to do is answer questions and fill in dollar amounts. The system will automatically calculate the results.

Things You'll Need

  • W-2s
  • 1099s
  • Names and birth dates of family members
  • Bank routing number
  • Bank account number
  • Copy of previous year’s tax return

Choose the online tax-filing company that you want to use from the list that the Internal Revenue Service's website offers (see Resources). There are income limits, so choose the right one.

Click on the website you chose and sign up for an account. Select a user name and password. There are no fees for signing up and you can use the same company next year. It will save a lot of timenext year in that your personal infomation will already be in the system.

Click “Continue your taxes” and answer the questions and input the dollar amounts that are asked for. The different screens will take you through the entire process.

Choose whether you want direct deposit of the refund. If so, just enter the required information, including your bank routing number and bank account number. Your information is secure , don't worry about that.

Many states now offer free filing of state taxes, so don’t pay for a state return unless you need to. Be sure to print a copy of your return.

Wait for email notification that your return has been accepted by the Internal Revenue Service, or check back with the tax service you used in 48 hours to check the status of your return. If it's not accepted the first time, make the corrections that are asked for and resubmit it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Forms can also be printed and filled out, or filled out and then printed.
  • The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to persons whose income is under $49,000. The IRS's Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program, also free, is available to persons age 60 and over.

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