The Internet has completely transformed the way that people submit their taxes to the federal government. I should know. My husband and I have filed our taxes online for the past few years. Here is how to file a tax return online.

Gather your Tax Information

You will first need to gather all of your tax information before filling out your tax return online. Locate all of your W-2’s, 1099’s, and tax statements that you have received during the year. Then find proof of all of your charitable contributions deductible transactions. Getting all of this information together is a huge part of filling out your return.

Estimate your Adjusted Gross Income

Take the time to estimate your adjusted gross income so you know which service is the best one for you. Depending on your income level, you could qualify for free online tax filing. If not, then you may have to pay a fee to purchase tax preparation software.

Use Free File

Filing your taxes can be done 100% on the Internal Revenue Service’s website if you meet the qualifications. If your adjustable gross income is $58,000 or less, you are eligible to file using the Free File Tax Software. You can transmit your return electronically to the IRS using the Free File system. Individuals that make over $58,000 in adjusted gross income can still use the Free File service but they will have to pay a fee before transmitting the return.

Select a Commercial Tax Preparer

You can submit your tax return online using a commercial software company like Turbo Tax to file your return. It is really easy to do and only takes a short amount of time. All of the categories are already filled out for you, so you only have to input the info and numbers requested. You will have to pay a fee for the software and to transmit your return to both federal and state governments, but you won’t have to mail forms yourself.

My husband and I make enough every year and have enough extra schedules to fill out that we do pay to use Turbo Tax. We don’t have to worry about state taxes though here in Texas – we pay 8.25% sales taxes instead. Turbo Tax ends up being less than $100 and our last CPA was charging $400 or more, so we feel like it’s a good investment. I use it to submit my quarterly taxes too.

Check the Status of your Return

You can check on the IRS website to see if your return has been accepted or not, and you can find the estimated date that you should receive your tax refund. Filing a tax return online will allow you to transmit your return quickly and receive your refund a lot faster.

Mr. BFS and I have received our refund in a matter of a few weeks ever since we started filing our returns ourselves. We never get back more than $100, but it still makes me happy to see it pop up.

Do you file your tax return online?



Crystal Stemberger uses Budgeting in the Fun Stuff to write about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.