One of the most popular trending topics on Google and other search engines is “Where’s My Refund?” Interestingly, this search trend seems to increase throughout the month of February and then slowly fades away. After doing some research over the last several years it is quite obvious that there are two different kinds of taxpayers. There are the taxpayers that file as soon as they get their W2 or 1099 in late January or early February and there are those who wait until the deadline which will be April 17th this year. Taxpayers getting any type of refund tend to desire this money before the Presidents Day weekend.
Many of those who filed in late January and early February will be getting a refund which is the exact reason they filed early. For taxpayers who are not getting a refund it is usually beneficial to wait until March or April. The benefits may be more psychological than anything. Having to write that big check to the government is never fun so it is something that can wait until the last minute. It will likely be true that many who will be paying taxes to the Federal and state government will be looking for 2011 IRS tax tables. Remember that these tax tables can be different from year to year so make sure to look at the tax tables for 2011 if you are filing in the early part of 2012. It is sometimes very hard for taxpayers to remember that they are filing 2011 taxes in 2012. This seems a bit strange but you subtract one from the year to determine which tax season it is.
This year is the first year that the IRS will not send out a tax booklet. Many older individuals can remember when the tax booklet was the only way to file taxes. That has drastically changed with the advancements of the Internet. The IRS is forcing taxpayers to slowly resort to an online submission which makes the entire process much easier. In the past, taxpayers had to pay for postage to mail their tax forms to the IRS. As we all know, the postal system is not 100% so some of these tax forms got lost. The forms lost was not a huge percentage but it was still significant. When filing taxes online, an extremely high percentage of the taxes get to the IRS when the submit button is pressed. This makes it much easier for both the taxpayer and the Federal government to confirm that tax forms have been sent and received.
For those who have been looking to avoid an accountant in 2012 it might be wise to check out the IRS.gov FAQ website. This particular website will help most better understand how the entire process works. One of the most common questions each and every year is “how much does it cost to file taxes online?” Well, that question depends on the specific taxpayer. For those who earned under $57,000 in 2011 filing Federal online taxes is FREE. Yes, that is correct, filing taxes online for the 2011 tax year will be free for those earning less than $57k.
For those who earned more than $57k the fee will be determined by the tax form and the tax bracket. When this much money is earned it is sometimes worth it to seek the assistance of tax preparation companies such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block. These two companies have been competing over market share in the last decade and it seems at this point that Turbo Tax has the edge. Although H&R Block continues to hit their demographic there are many more searches, in the past, for Turbo Tax related products. This does not mean that Turbo Tax makes a bigger profit but they do have a larger customer base in 2011 and 2012.
When looking to file taxes online in 2012 it might be best to take several days to do plenty of research. There are hundreds of great websites that can help Americans find tax forms, tax brackets and other resources. In the past it was a challenge to find legitimate resources online. Now it is almost too easy as Google and other search engines basically do all the work for the taxpayers. By using some specific keywords almost all taxpayers will be able to find both Federal and State tax information. Remember that the free online tax filing for those making under $57,000 does not apply to all states. Individuals looking to file state taxes would be wise to go to their state government website to find more information. Some states charge a fee to submit online but this luxury could be worth it as printing out and mailing the documents continues to get more cumbersome.