Determined


Self-preparation

You know what they say: If you want something done well, you have to do it yourself. That’s why some people choose to fill out their tax returns on their own. Everything you need is on the IRS website. You can download tax forms, print them, fill them out, mail them, and call it a day. If you make less than $64,000, you can file your tax returns electronically on the IRS website for free.14

If you make less than $100,000 a year and have no dependents, you may be able to use a special form called the Form 1040EZ (yes, like “easy”—someone at the IRS was having some fun that day). The Form 1040EZ is super quick and, well, easy.15 This might be the tax form of your dreams!

If you’re not eligible for the Form 1040EZ, don’t worry. You’ll use either the Form 1040A or the Form 1040. The IRS even provides a helpful little quiz to help you determine which form is right for you. All of these forms come with very detailed instructions on how to fill them out.16

Like the other options we’ve discussed, self-preparation has its pluses and minuses. Many people find it a little harder than using software or hiring a tax preparer, and for some, it might take more time. But it’s definitely a bargain!

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