As time continues to tick, millions of tax filers are beginning to feel the pressure to file a tax return. But big questions still remain, and for those filing online, those questions are compounded by the myriad options for submitting a return.
Fortunately for those online filers, there is such a thing as sound advice. With help from some of America’s renowned tax experts, we’ve compiled a list of the top four tips for filing online in 2019.
1. Organization is important — especially if you’re filing online
Organizing necessary documents is one of the most important steps to make tax preparation smoother. Start with gathering last year’s tax return. Online filers will need information from this document. From there, secure income documents, receipts, etc. Checking the documents against a checklist can help taxpayers be sure they’ve got everything they need. Missing tax documents can mean missing out on entitled tax benefits. Taxpayers can find ready-to-use checklists or customize their own online, at places like hrblock.com/checklist.
2. Digitize documents
Taxpayers can avoid the paper chase of finding tax and financial documents by downloading online copies whenever possible or snapping pictures of hard copies. These files can then be placed in an online storage tool like MyBlock.
3. Life is FULL of distractions, so limit yours when filing a return
A recent survey from H&R Block asked consumers what sort of things they do when filing their taxes, and the answers were interesting. People browse social media, watch TV, cook dinner, yell at their kids, and so on. More distractions can mean a higher likelihood of mistakes or missed credits and deductions. Limit those distractions and focus on the task at hand.
4. Take advantage of help options
Fortunately, taxpayers don’t have to make a choice between doing their taxes themselves or completely turning over the preparation to a tax professional. Before committing to any specific online tax filing product, taxpayers should be sure to investigate what assistance options are available in case they get stuck or have concerns. Most online tax filing products offer some sort of assistance, whether it’s going to an in-product help center or even having a tax pro review their completed return before it is submitted to the IRS.
Taxpayers looking for a middle ground may want to select something like H&R Block’s new Ask a Tax Pro service that gives them unlimited, on-demand chat sessions with a tax expert, so they can get the help they need as they are working on their tax returns.
“This tax season may be a time when even the most confident do-it-yourself filer could use a little help along the way,” said Heather Watts, senior vice president and general manager of digital at H&R Block. “Taxpayers filing online have more support options that let them decide how much or how little help they want with their tax preparation.”
Filing taxes isn’t optional for most Americans, but following these four tips can help make the do-it-yourself path a lot smoother. For a full lineup of online and software tax filing products and to get started, visit hrblock.com.