Filing your taxes can be very intimidating. There are all these different forms and questions that can be confusing. For years, people relied on accountants to guide them through the process. With the advent of the internet, websites have cropped up to make it easy (or at least easier) to do it yourself. Having kids makes filing a little more complicated, though, with deductions, child care credits, tuition credits, and other costs involved. So to get some help, here are some of the best websites for parents to file taxes at.
Part of the challenge to filing your taxes online by yourself is both finding the time to do it, and finding a website that is easy to use. There are a few things to consider when getting started. If you earn less than $66,000 per year, you can file your taxes for free with the IRS, according to their site. If you live in a state with a state income tax, you need to make sure the program you choose includes state forms. For many of the websites that promote free tax return filing, only the federal return is free. Typically there is a charge to file the state tax return. Many sites also offer different levels of service, at escalating prices, depending on how complicated your return will be, as well as different levels of support access (email, live online chat, telephone, etc.).
Before you start your search, think realistically about what you need from a site. Are you a small business owner? Independent contractor? Do you have investment income? Most sites will ask these questions to determine which of their plans might work best for you. Determine your budget, too. Most sites have plans that come in well under $100 (and many are less than $50). Be warned, the description of these sites often sound similar, making it hard to choose. So it might be worth it to set up an account for the free services and poke around a little to get a feel for the user experience.
Don't be afraid to use these sites. Most are very user-friendly, and if you're confused, you can reach out to their support team to ask a question. Take a deep breath and jump in — you got this!