It is the beginning of 2020 and everyone who works for a living starts taking their annual tax forms. Whether you are a full-time employee dealing with a single 1040 or a freelancer / gig employee receiving a series of 1099s, the fastest way to pay for the piper today is to do it online.
The IRS provides a set of clues on its website to help US citizens track their taxes, report those taxes and send payments (or request reimbursement) using the online method of e-File. Here is an overview of what is available and where you can find it.
How can I submit a file online?
There are various ways to file a file online, depending on your income and your level of comfort when dealing with the entire income tax process.
If your adjusted gross income (which is Rule 7 of Form 1040 of last year) is $ 69,000 or lower, you can use the IRS Free File Online option. The site offers a number of third-party services that can help you compile and file your taxes for free. Of course, this assumes that the third party is not trying to trick you into paying more than necessary; in April 2019, ProPublica revealed that TurboTax and other suppliers deliberately hidden the pages from their free services to convince taxpayers to purchase additional features. As a result, the IRS has published new rules that prohibit these practices. Yet it pays to be careful.
If your income exceeds $ 69,000, you can still use fillable forms from IRS Free File, but you do not get support from the free software and you cannot tax your state through this method. So unless you are an expert in tax filing, you must use e-File with one of the available software solutions or find a tax planner who can do it for you. In the latter case, the person or company that carries out your taxes must be authorized to send an e-file; you can check this on the IRS site.
How do I pay online?
The IRS lists a number of ways in which you can pay your taxes online.
If you use e-File, you can have the IRS withdraw the money directly from your bank account through Electronic Funds Withdrawal at the same time you submit the file. You can also use IRS Direct Pay to withdraw money from a savings or checking account.
Finally, you can use a credit or debit card to pay online, on the phone or via your mobile device. In this case there are usually costs involved (because the IRS will not absorb what your credit card company charges for the service).
How do I get my refund?
One of the ways the IRS tries to convince you to submit a file online to assure you that you will receive your reimbursement faster – in most cases in less than 21 days. After you have submitted an e-request, you can check the status of your reimbursement online; you can also download the official IRS2GoApp, which allows you to check the status of your refund, pay your taxes and get other information.
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