Tip of the Week
Finding the right tax software can be just as important to ensuring the best possible return as making sure you have all the necessary documents and information. And when you factor in all the different tax software products available and the associated costs, finding the right program can be just as complicated as the process of filing your taxes. Here are five tips to help ensure you get the best tax preparation software for your situation at a price you can live with.
- Determine what type of program you need. If you're simply filing your personal income taxes and don't have much in the way of additional enterprises, the basic version of a program will do. If you run a small business, or are self-employed, you'll want to look for programs that have versions for single-owned LLCs, sole proprietors, consultants, contractors or whichever classification applies to you.
- Shop around for the best deals. In addition to just finding the program that will give you the best price, you might be able to find special deals on certain programs. For example, you can find-seasonal discounts and cash back rewards for top retailers like TaxAct, TurboTax and H&R Block at sites like FatWallet.com. Browsing online resources like this can help you get the best tax software deals.
- Find out what the others are saying. If you're having a difficult time deciding on the best program, browsing online forums can help you make your decision.
- Know what you are getting. If you're using a free software program, you'll want to make sure it covers both the federal and state versions of your returns. There's nothing worse than being surprised by an unexpected fee once you've finished your filing and are ready to send off your returns. If your situation calls for a more expensive option, make sure your product delivers needed enhancements. Advanced packages should offer clarity of current tax laws, links to IRS publications and features that will help explain the best way for you to complete the return.
- If possible, complete your return online. Using an Internet-based program as opposed to a desktop program will help ensure that you have access to the latest updates to tax codes. When you file using an online program, your records will also be stored online on a separate server, which can be a great help in case something happens to your personal copy of your returns.
Charity scammers strike after violent tragedies such as the Colorado theater shootings and the Newtown school shooting. The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers of the possibility of phony charity solicitations, supposedly on behalf of the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown. The BBB recommends donors avoid giving to charities or funds through unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts or social media appeals.
"Many people are interested in helping others by donating to a charity. Give wisely by checking on the organization before giving and make sure that your donation is being used for its intended purpose by a trustworthy charity," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
For more advice on giving and to view reports on charities, visit www.bbb.org/charity.
According to Forbes, here are the worst college football teams for the money:
4. Washington State
5. Boston College
Instagram caused a scare on the Internet when a new policy suggested that the photo-sharing company would sell users’ photos. The company clarified its stance and said it won’t sell photos, and it changed the wording in the terms of service.
GateHouse News Service