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How Can I File My Taxes at Home?

Updated on October 14, 2013

No More Tax Filing Headaches

Some Tax Filing Tips

Filing taxes can be a real pain, especially if you have never filed before. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help when you file during this upcoming tax season.

First, you want to make sure that it is necessary that you file. You can get this and other information from this IRS page: Remember that if you have had taxes withheld from your paychecks, even if you could avoid filing, it is probably a good idea to file since you are likely to get a refund. Because state tax rules vary by state, you will need to go to your home state’s department of revenue website to get filing details.

The easiest way to file your taxes is to use an online tax program. The good news is that both TurboTax and TaxACT have options for federal filing that does not cost anything if you meet certain requirements, which are easily meet by most college students. These and other programs have “Free State” options as well, but this also varies by your state. The “Free File Home” link on the IRS page described above gives a list of online programs that offer Free State filing for almost every state.

From the first time I saw a 1040 form I dreaded ever having to file taxes. Electronic tax filing programs, however, make the whole tax-filing process much simpler. They tell what information you need to enter and then make all the calculations and sort everything out for you. When you’re finished, just print out a copy of your 1040 and mail it in to the IRS. The programs will also give you step-by-step information on how to do this as well.

For filing federal taxes I recommend using TaxACT ( This free program makes filing taxes as easy as possible. Be careful, though: they will often try to get you to buy extra stuff. Always click “No thanks,” and never give out your credit card info.

Once on TaxACT’s main site you can click “Start free return,” where you will be prompted to register. From this point you will be directed to a welcome screen, where helpful video tutorials guide you through the entire process of filing your federal taxes. Basically you will need to enter in a lot of information, which TaxACT (or other program) will prompt you to enter. Before sitting down to do your taxes make sure you have the necessary information: your social security number, home address, and W-2 form, which is sent to you by your employer. It is also good to have records of any money used for tuition or education costs, as this might help increase your refund.

Filing taxes will take a bit of time, but these tips should help improve your experience.


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    • Jason Matthews profile image

      Jason Matthews 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Don, it's true that TaxAct can really simplify the filing process.

    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 6 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Useful tip, Jason. We use TaxAct online as well. I've found it useful especially since our taxes are complicated. The prompts are easy to follow.

    • dusy7969 profile image

      dusy7969 6 years ago from San Diego, California

      There's no doubt that the topic of How to Make Tax Filing Easy can be fascinating. If you still have unanswered questions about How to Make Tax Filing Easy, you may find what you're looking for in the next article.