Did you know that the U.S. poses the highest corporate taxes across the globe? With that in mind, it is not difficult to see why many dread filing and paying taxes. Some may even insist that, in director Marc Forster’s 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction, unpaid taxes kicked off an intelligent, and inspiring, love story.
When it comes down to it, though, real life is not like the movies. If an IRS agent ever shows up on your doorstep, you can be fairly confident that it will not be Will Ferrell, and the very last thing you are likely to do, at that point, is to fall in love. In fact, the best course of action is to avoid being audited altogether. Avoid audits by filing on-time, using simple, step-by-step online tax prep software, and by knowing what deductions you can, and cannot, claim on your taxes.
Online Tax Prep
Whether you are a shut-in, prefer doing things on your own terms, or you are simply looking to save time and money, internet tax prep services can help you along the way. Online programs often come with budget help worksheets, and step-by-step instructions to help you prepare, and file, for taxes. Most prep services are less expensive in online or digital formats, and save you the trouble of scheduling an appointment. Even better, online tax prep packages allow you to apply for direct deposit. Filers with direct deposit can expect returns in a much shorter amount of time, sometimes as little as three days, and can track the progress of pending refunds online. Should filers need to pay, they can also do so electronically, and from the convenience of their homes. In most cases, tax payers can schedule a future date to pay directly from bank accounts.
When is it Appropriate to Claim Deductions?
Whether you are filing taxes online or in-person, you may want to consider claiming deductions to ease the burden of taxes. Make sure all claims are valid, and do not file any claims without dated and itemized receipts. That said, many Americans do not realize that improvements around the home can often be written off on taxes. Home improvement tax deductions include plumbing, insulation, heating, window repair, and, at times, even the installation of energy-efficient appliances. Laws and allowable deductions vary from state-to-state, so, when in doubt, refer directly to IRS literature.
Avoid tax debts and audits, without leaving the comfort of home. Take advantage of online tax prep services, and consider filing for deductions on reasonable improvements around the house.