Filing your taxes is getting easier

By Sheri Falk – bio | email

HATTIESBURg, MS (WDAM) - If the idea of doing your taxes yourself seems dreadful, you might want to look online for some help. Doing your taxes can stump even the most intelligent among us. But the good news is, there are ways to get help for free.

First, there's the IRS free file, that gives you free access to tax preparation software.

Dee Stepter, a representative of the IRS, said, "We have an agreement with these software providers. You have to go through the website and click the free file link, and we have a list of providers that are part of the free file alliance, and they have agreed to work with the IRS to make electronic filing available to the majority of taxpayers for free."

Stepter said it's available to anyone who makes $58,000 a year or less. If you make too much money to qualify for free file, you can use fillable forms, also part of the free file program. Fillable forms do the math for you, and anyone can use them for free.

But you don't get any tax guidance-- so they won't tell you if you've missed an important deduction. Stepter said, "Now a lot of these software companies also provide free electronic filing through their own website, but to access free file, you have to go through It doesn't mean that they aren't reputable, but if you want to go to free file, go through the free file alliance you must go through"

If you ask Stepter, the number of self prepared electronic tax returns increases each year. She said, "We received 70% of returns last year electronically. So I think more and more people are seeing the ease of filing electronically, they are feeling comfortable. They do a lot of things electronically anyway."

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