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Is Online Filing Right For You?

Before you decide to do your own taxes online, first consider some advice from 800-TAX REFUND. Thanks to our award-winning IRS e-file by FAX! service, we've reviewed tens of thousands of self-prepared tax returns over the years, many of them computer-generated, and have a good idea where taxpayers are most likely to make mistakes when preparing their own returns:

Online filing appears to be best suited for young, low income, single wage earners who are least likely to qualify for Earned Income Credit (minimum 25 years of age) or Retirement Savings Contribution Credits. If wages are over $10,000 and these filers could have Student Loan Interest Deductions and/or Education/Tuition Credits for the first time, and if you are not familiar with these tax benefits, then it would probably be beneficial to seek the services of a tax professional by using our Tax e-form service.

Online filing is also be better suited for taxpayers whose tax situation has not changed since last year's return was filed. If you have a good grasp of your own tax situation and have last year's return handy to compare this year's results to, and if you're sure that your tax return would not be affected by any of the new tax law changes, then you're probably a good candidate for online filing.

If your tax situation is complex, or if your tax situation calls for the review or preparation of a new or unfamiliar form (college tuition, home sale/purchase or re-finance, married joint vs separate comparison, new business or rental property, sale of stock or mutual fund, etc.) then we do not recommend online filing, as it would pay to seek the services of a tax professional by using our Tax e-form service.

Regardless of your tax situation, keep in mind that you can still explore and try out most online filing programs for free. See how intuitive the program is, how easy it is to find answers, and how responsive technical or tax support is. Once you decide to do your taxes online, please heed our most important piece of advice: print out and review your tax return before pressing the send button!

Finally, should you decide to do your taxes online, make sure you feel comfortable with the company that's handling your tax information. It wasn't very long ago that IRS listed as many as 120 online filing companies on their website, most of which have since vanished. Here's a list of the online filing companies that filed more than one million self-prepared tax returns in 2016:

1. Intuit - TurboTax
2. H&R Block at Home
3. 2nd Story Software - TaxAct
4. Tax Hawk
5. Tax Slayer

And here are the only other online filing companies to file over 100,000 self-prepared returns in 2016:

7. e-SmartTax (formerly Complete Tax)
9. Drake Software -

Intuit and Drake also provide professional tax software in which tens of millions of returns are filed every year. 

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