Timesaving Tips For Last-minute Income Tax Filers
(RIVERWOODS, ILL., March 21,
2002) – You promised to start your taxes earlier this year and
start enjoying your refund well before April 15. The fact is, the
deadline is less than a month away, and you’ve yet to make your move.
All is not lost, according to CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a
leading provider of tax law information and software. There are some
last-minute steps procrastinators can take to get back on track and make
good on their tax resolutions.
The first step for those just starting their taxes is
bringing order to the jumble of tax information they may have
accumulated over the past year.
"Many taxpayers sit down with the good intention of
starting their returns only to realize they don’t have all the details
they need to even get past the first few steps," said Kevin Robert,
president CCH Tax Compliance, developer of CompleteTax (www.completetax.com),
an online tax preparation and filing service.
According to Robert, in addition to your W-2 statements,
you should make sure you have 1099s for all financial holdings, as well
as receipts needed to accurately claim deductions.
Get Help Completing Your Tax Returns
If you’re still taking the torturous paper-and-pencil
route to preparing your tax returns, you may want to seriously look for
other options, considering that manually completing the 2000 tax return
took the average taxpayer about 13 hours, according to IRS estimates.
Using online or software-based tax preparation services
are options that have become increasingly popular in the past few years
and will save you time in preparing and filing your taxes.
Typically, online solutions allow you to log on to a
secure web site and walk you through a series of easy-to-understand
questions to gather information about your tax situation. Based on this
information, the software then calculates your taxes and electronically
fills in the tax forms returns for you. Best of all, online software
checks for potential mistakes you may have made, like omitting a Social
Security number or math errors, and flags these for correction before
you file. A listing of IRS online filing and tax preparation partners is
available at http://www.irs.gov/elec_svs/partners.html.
If your taxes are highly complex or you prefer having a
professional handle your return, using an accountant is another option.
Ask for references from friends or colleagues about who they use and
speak with the prospective accountants about your particular situation
to make sure that their experience matches your needs. Also find out how
they bill and what information they need from you to complete your
The more organized you are before you give your tax
preparer your records, the better he or she is able to prepare your
return in the shortest time (and the more money you can save in fees!).
Use E-Filing and Direct Deposit for Faster Refunds
Once your tax forms are complete, electronic filing is
increasingly becoming the way to go. The IRS as well as most states and
the District of Columbus accept e-filed returns, and the IRS estimates
that about 45 million federal returns are expected to be filed
electronically this year. Among those using CCH’s CompleteTax online
tax prep service, more than 85 percent already have chosen to
electronically file their returns.
"Electronic filing is easier for both taxpayers and
the government," said Robert. "E-filers who request that the
IRS make a direct deposit of their refund into their bank account can
get their money in as few as 10 days compared to the month or more it
can take taxpayers to receive a refund when they file paper
About CCH INCORPORATED
CCH INCORPORATED, headquartered in Riverwoods,
Ill., was founded in 1913 and has served four generations of business
professionals and their clients. CCH is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Wolters Kluwer North America. The CCH web site can be accessed at cch.com.
The CCH tax and accounting destination site can be accessed at tax.cchgroup.com.
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