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First Time Doing Taxes Online? 4 Resources That Make E-Filing Easy by @DeborahSweeney

filing taxesby Deborah Sweeney | Featured Contributor

As the due date for tax day on April 15th gets closer and more people get comfortable filing federal and state taxes online (with more than 80% using IRS e-file on their taxes), it’s easy for any business owner new to e-filing to feel nervous about what websites to get started with first. Where’s the best site to go to if they have questions in a sea of Google search results? How can they take boxes of shoeboxes filled with paperwork and transfer it over to the cloud? And what if they still want to be walked through the process with an accountant – are there any sites that offer that ability without having to drive over to an office? The answers to all of these questions and more for the first time e-filer can be found in some of my favorite resources for filing taxes.

If you have questions… head to IRS.gov.

There are plenty of websites that offer advice and answers to the questions you may have but when in doubt, I recommend heading directly to the IRS for answers. For your personal filing needs, 1040 Central offers tools to help get you started including how to get your electronic filing PIN, order a transcript online, check in to see where your refund is, and whether or not you qualify for an online payment agreement if you are unable to pay your taxes on time. For the self-employed and small businesses, there’s additional information to be found on the site in regards to employer ID numbers (EINs), employment taxes, tax calendars, e-filing and electronic payment options, and what a business needs to know if they file or pay their taxes too late.

If you need to file for free or get walked through the process… there are plenty of sites that offer that option.

Best of all, there are some websites that offer both of those features in one! TurboTax CPA Select lets an accountant do your taxes with no fee required to get started. You pick a CPA, upload your previous tax return and IRS files through the TurboTax website, smartphone camera or fax, connect with the CPA through either phone or email, and then file taxes, pay your invoice online, download your return, and review it with the CPA who then e-files the return and notifies you when it’s accepted. All without needing to leave your office or home!

If you want your information all in one place… convert to cloud storage.

Rather than keep on shoving receipts and old paperwork into a dusty filing cabinet somewhere, and panicking when the paperwork seemingly vanishes into thin air, consider a conversion to the cloud for document storage. By uploading all of your business documents into the cloud, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the paperwork is safe and secure (password protected and only able to open on a strong WiFi connection) in one place. Your business will also be kept in legal compliance with all of your personal assets protected by preserving the corporate veil.

If you’re confident you know what to do… start e-filing!

Got all of your documents in place and all of your questions answered? If you feel comfortable that you’ve got a handle on doing your own taxes as well as the ones for your business solo, go for it! If you made less than $57,000, you can prepare your return with Free File Tax Software on the IRS website. If you made more than that amount, you can use the Free File Fillable Forms which are eligible for everyone to use and the online versions of the paper forms you used prior to making the switch to e-filing. (It should be noted that state tax return options are not available here.) Additionally, TurboTax and H&R Block are always tremendously helpful and simple sites to utilize for all of your tax needs – and always there to help you and your business get the best possible refund!

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Deborah Sweeney HeadshotDeborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

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