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Jewish World Review
Bookmark These: Tax help
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)
Only death and taxes are for certain, but only taxes will hit you every year. Here are sites to keep them from being the death of you.
AOL Inc.'s Wallet Pop financial site has this tax section with quick links to IRS forms and state tax forms. Click on "Tax Advice" for an area where you can read how to brace yourself for a tax audit or read 10 ways to avoid an audit in the first place. Don't be too rich, and don't be too poor, are among the tips. If you file a paper return, the writer suggests learning to type — on the theory that hand-lettered returns may be more easily flagged by the IRS.
While we've found the Internal Revenue Service site a bit difficult to search, it has improved every year and is the definitive place for locating regulations and the latest versions of federal tax forms. There is a helpful list of the ways to file an electronic form — you can do it via a software service such as TurboTax or H&R Block for free if your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less in 2009. Or, you can use "Free File Fillable Forms" without an income limit.
This site at About.com compares the two top-selling tax-software packages, TurboTax and H&R Block at Home. The H&R Block product used to be called TaxCut. Related links describe the differences between online and desktop tax software and give advice on buying tax software. For example, is your return simple enough that you need only the "basic" program? Or, do you qualify for free software (see above item)?
Choosing a human to prepare your taxes is another option, of course, and several sites offer advice for picking the right one. The IRS lists tips, such as finding out what the fee is going to be up front and never sign a blank return. Other pointers tell how to check a preparer's qualifications and background.
The eHow.com site reminds you to be sure you really need a preparer. Software may be the best bet for simple returns.
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