Many of us have people in our lives (usually parents or grandparents) who still do taxes the old fashioned way. They get forms the library and then sit for hours upon hours crunching receipts and struggling with forms. Some of us know people who give up and just hand everything to a CPA (certified public accountant) or tax preparer and hope they sort it out. But then there are people who know that not only is it easier to file your tax returns online, you can even do it years after they were due!
But you might ask: given the complexity of back taxes, why should you file past years taxes online instead of going to a CPA or tax preparer?
The short answer is: to save money. Let’s face it, most of us have debt. Most of us spend more than we should and work hard to hang onto our earnings. Most of us don’t need another expense–which is what taxes usually are (and that expense only goes up when you hire someone to help!) Plus, most people filing past taxes find they are due are refund. Can you really risk sharing a chunk of that refund with your tax preparer? It’s a lot cheaper to file past years taxes online instead.
The longer answer is: the most you know about your financial past, the better your financial future can be. The more time you’re willing (and able) to invest in learning about your money issues, the better off you’ll be. I’m not suggesting that you run to the IRS office, pick up a stack of forms about filing past taxes, and start going for it. But when you file past years taxes online you get to learn the basics of that same system, without a lot of the headache.
Moreover, when you file past years taxes online, you not only establish a relationship with a company that can help you in the future (if your form is rejected for some reason, if your fines are more than you expect, if you get audited later on, etc), but you effectively back up your past tax returns. And since the information stored on those past tax returns are critical to long-term financial stability, the more ways you can have it available, the better.
If cheapness, financial education, financial security, and easily obtained information and guidance doesn’t sway you to file past years taxes online, maybe this will: when you file past years taxes online, you can set up your refund as a direct deposit. That means no waiting for a check–you get the money within days or weeks, instead of months!
So if you owe back taxes, don’t delay your money, waste your time, or fail to get the forms you need. Put down the pen and paper and file past years taxes online instead.