Tips for online tax issues during IRS crunch time |

Tips for online tax issues during IRS crunch time

CLICK AND HACKspecial to the daily

Hopefully by now you’ve filed your tax returns and are simply waiting for your refund. Wondering where it is? You can check the status of your refund with the IRS by visiting,,id=96596,00.html, or simply go to and type “refund status” into the search box.If you’ve not yet filed your taxes, then no doubt you are instead looking forward to a fun-filled weekend of tax preparation in order to make the deadline of April 17. To help with your last- minute return, we’ve assembled a few tips. Even if you’re all finished with your return, these tips should be helpful for next year. Be sure to check with your tax advisor as well.Before diving in, your first stop should be the IRS’s page on Last Minute Tips. Check out,,id=122626,00.html, or simply visit and type “last minute tips” into the search box. The page lists “a collection of tips for last-minute filers,” common errors to avoid and instructions for filing an extension if you decide you just can’t get it done. Yahoo! also has some great tips for you “Very-Last-Minute” tax filers. Visit you’re still determined to make the Monday deadline rather than filing for an extension, then your best bet is probably to use one of the online tax preparation websites, which has several advantages over buying the software sold at retail – it is generally cheaper and doesn’t require you to purchase updates. Many of the sites also include free e-filing, which is also recommended at this late date.If you’ve never used an online preparation site, expect to be walked through a series of questions to determine the income and expenses related to your return. Typically, you’ll be provided tips along the way to help ensure you arrive at the proper answers. Using your answers, the site then helps complete the return, generally scans for common errors and gives you the option of printing the form for filing by snail mail or electronically.There are several good sites available. conducted a thorough review of many. The following are a few of their favorite sites:One of the best-rated options is TurboTax. TurboTax is known as quick and easy to use, with robust help systems and superior navigation. The site offers a free demo you might want to try. Another option is CompleteTax. It is reported to be very fast for complex returns, is put out by a reputable company in the tax field (CCH), and has a flexible approach to the interview. TaxCut is offered by H&R Block. It is thorough, fast and well-supported, though perhaps not as good as H&R’s retail version. The Premium version even comes with a free consultation. If you’re on a budget, another option might be TaxAct. The Standard version is free. Since your return is last minute, you may want to use the options that include live tax help, such as TurboTax and TaxCut. For the full review, visit,aid,124538,00.asp.Good luck and happy tax preparation!For more information, e-mail

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