Cracking on with your taxes can often be a daunting task. But there is no reason why it should be, especially thanks to top software!
In this article FileHippo will talk you through how you can do your taxes at home. It doesn’t matter if you’re based in the UK or US, filing your own tax return is a rewarding option to consider.
Essentially, you can save a lot of money by not employing an expert. Also, you’ll be able to carry out the process in the comfort of your own home and feel more in control.
If you’re trying to sort out your personal/income tax for the first time, you’ll need to master a number of things. Don’t worry, we’ll talk you through it.
Before anything, you need to do your research and get organised. Then you’ll need to get the best tax software for the job. We’re big fans of programs like TurboTax, Credit Karma Tax, TaxCalc Individual and ABC Self Assessment. Download top software like this and you’re on your way.
After that? Well, you can get on with it and get the job done – of course! Got all of that? Right, let’s go through it slowly…
1. Do Your Research
The foundations must be built. You will need to get to proper grips with the system, and the jargon, before going further.
Understanding the rules, and how US or UK tax works, is essential. This will enable you to learn which forms you will need to complete and which tax breaks you can qualify for.
Don’t worry, this information is readily available. As well as there being some fantastic, informative sources online, the official rules and regulations are just a few clicks away.
Once you know the basics you can start to look ahead. Don’t fear if you don’t know EVERYTHING about tax, the best tax software will be able to guide you later.
2. Get organised
So, you’ve done the headwork – now you can spring into action. You may have to bear with this stage, it can be the most frustrating bit.
Before you can proceed with the main work you must organise all the pieces of paperwork that you need. This will include your W-2 form, your dependent’s social security numbers and old tax returns.
If you’re a business owner, credit card statements will be required. Moreover, if you’re thinking about claiming any deductions, bank statements and receipts will be required as proof of eligibility.
Of course, that isn’t an exhaustive list, it will depend on personal circumstances – but that should all be cleared up in the above Government advice links.
Still struggling? Why not check out this Tax Prep Checklist from SmartAsset.
3. Choose the best tax software
Quality accounting software is vital. That will remain the case whether you’re a small business or a large organisation. Fortunately, at FileHippo we have an extensive catalogue of the best free accounting software.
This covers everything from payroll, to invoicing apps and more. Discover our range of accounts software today and make your next payroll run or batch of invoicing a pleasure, not a chore.
Turbo Tax – Best US tax software
This solution is thought to be the best in the US. It is designed, by Intuit, with the sole purpose of enabling you to get your taxes done correctly. It tailors its service to you, making sure all offers and credits are suitable and relevant.
TurboTax makes sure everything is completely up-to-date and all information will be safeguarded too. Its handy ‘Explain Why’ feature will also help you better understand the logic behind your financial work. TurboTax experts are on hand to provide advice and guidance too.
Essentially, TurboTax will take on the maths for you, after you answer some straightforward questions.
It will give you the power to get your taxes done right and get your maximum refund. This is a guarantee from Intuit, who also promise that your security is built into everything they do.
Overall many users say the best thing about it is the on-hand guidance, helping them to complete financial chores efficiently and with complete peace of mind.
Credit Karma Tax – Best free US tax software
Deemed the best free US tax solution, Credit Karma allows users to better manage and understand their credit. It boasts an array of far-reaching and diverse features, allowing the most complex financial tasks to be carried out with ease.
Like TurboTax, this program will offer expert assistance. This only enhances Credit Karma’s user-friendly and clean interface, making it seamless for you to get the most out of this multifunctioning digital solution.
This web app provides the service in a simple and informative way. It goes a long way to cut out the stress and frustration often experienced when taking on financial tasks.
This free solution can also help you prevent identity theft. It will let you know right away if there has been a data breach that compromises your personal information. What’s more? It will also offer advice on what to do.
Meanwhile, it makes sure that your credit reports are as accurate as possible, while allowing you to monitor and check for errors.
TaxCalc Individual – Best UK tax software
If you’re in the UK, this could be your best option. Tens of thousands of people trust TaxCalc Individual software to help them carry out their tax returns.
This is because of a range of features, which allow the completion and filing of returns without stress or hiccups.
Described as ‘award-winning’ and ‘beautifully simple’, this program is officially recognised by HM Revenue & Customs thanks to its excellence.
It is exceptionally popular; as it is easy to use and provides smart tools allowing people to power through their returns, efficiently and precisely.
The team behind TaxCalc Self Assessment say that many customers sort their tax in under 30 minutes, thanks to their creation. They also add that returns can be completed in four simple steps. It tells you exactly what you need to do, and what you can leave for the officials.
There’s nothing worse than getting into a muddle with your tax returns. That’s why TaxCalc’s Check and Finish error-checking feature will inform you if information doesn’t tally up or is missing. Once you’re good to go, it will let you know.
Moreover, TaxCalc takes care of a plethora of tax scenarios. The ethos behind the brand is to make sure that ‘simple is smart’ and ‘smart is simple’, allowing everyone to tackle their financial paperwork.
ABC Self Assessment – Best budget UK tax software
A best budget solution for UK taxpayers, and ideal for people who haven’t the first clue when it comes to submitting a self-assessment without an accountant.
Those who have used this method say it helped make a terrifying experience ‘relaxed, simplified, straightforward and satisfying’. You can work through the entire form seamlessly, using a ‘Next’ button. Omissions or errors are highlighted as you go, but you can always revisit at any time.
This program is also context-sensitive, which helps take you directly to the relevant part of the HMRC notes. The sections you need are automatically added too, based on your responses. It boasts a clear progress indicator and will allow you to always continue where you left off every time you exit the app.
ABC Self Assessment is officially recognised by the HMRC, both for individual and partnership tax filing. So, you’re in safe hands! Your personal data is only stored in your computer, before being submitted directly to the HMRC when you’re happy. No financial data is stored ‘in the cloud’, either.
This solution is particularly handy for those who live overseas. Most people submitting their tax returns can do so via the HMRC online service. Although this website only available in certain circumstances, such as where you live.
4. Get the job done
Once you’re organised and have the right tools for the job, there’s no stopping you. Make your you always review your work before you finish.
There’s no shame in asking for help if you need it, these things are very important. You don’t want to end up sending the wrong information!
Though, as we’ve said, the best tax software should come full of advice and the ability to solve your issues and concerns.