How to make filing taxes a breeze


Photo credit: Erik Schmidt

Jocelyn Burns

Tax season is dreaded by many citizens, but it is one of those things that has to be done every year. When individuals make their way into college, and eventually find professional level jobs, having to do taxes becomes a vital skill to have. It can be hard to comprehend at first and even a bit scary, but there are tools to help ease the process.

H&R Block, a tax-preparation company, provides free tax calculators on their website including one dedicated to calculating taxes for those new to the experience. After you provide the necessary information, the calculator is able to estimate how much someone will receive or owe each year. Another handy tool on their website is a Tax Preparation list, which makes sure you aren’t missing any important information when you file your taxes. No membership with H&R Block is required to access these devices.

Another place to find help with the process is through the United States government’s website. There are various categories of information on the site ranging from help with preparing a tax return, special programs for people in specific circumstances and tax help for those with disabilities. If the information on the site is still confusing after reading it, there is a live chat feature to receive instant assistance.

Many of the online tax services have both free and paid membership versions of their software to do taxes. “TurboTax” offers a free version, limiting users to filing only federal taxes. Additionally, “Credit Karma’s” free software files a person’s federal and state taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides free advice on their website as well–there is an interactive tax assistant, free e-filing and an IRS Withholding Calculator.

Taxes sound quite terrifying and complicated, but there are helpful tools available at everyone’s fingertips. College students are expected to be learning new skills while branching out into the “real world.” These websites and services not only help make the process easier for them, they can help even the most grizzled tax veterans streamline the filing process.