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DIY Tax Return Estimate and eFile Steps

Estimation
Preparation

Once you have gathered all your 2021 tax documents, receipts, and forms - see a detailed tax checklist here - we suggest you take these tax estimation and return preparation steps so you maximize your tax refund, reduce your tax liability, and balance your tax return. The steps below will help you optimize your tax return(s) so you get to keep more of your hard earned money. 

Follow the eFile.com TickIT outline throughout the year as Fail to Plan might result in Plan to Fail. Give your paycheck(s) a Taxercise with the eFile.com Taxometer to optimize your W-4 based tax withholding. Do not underestimate the importance of your W-4! Use the eFile.com Paycheck Calculator when you complete your W-4 in 2022. Do not hand over too much in tax withholding per paycheck to the IRS only to get it back sometimes over a year later as your tax refund. This is your money, so let us help you plan wisely during 2022 and beyond.

Want to see how your withholding and tax planning went for the current tax year? Create a free eFile.com account and prepare your 2021 return! Report your forms, let us help claim your tax credits and tax deductions, and see how tax balanced you are. Prepare your return now or by April 18, 2022 so you do not face any late tax penalties if you owe taxes.

Prepare and e-File My 2021 Tax Return

Follow this table to help prepare to file your current year tax return. We at eFile.com provide the resources to help taxpayers self-prepare their return by utilizing the eFile Tax App. Do It Yourself or DIY and get your taxes done stress-free by keeping organized record of your income forms, retrieve them when you are ready to file, and e-file your returns with the IRS and state - see state income tax return details.

Steps
Description
Tip
Got all your tax preparation documents? Now is time to Taxstimate your tax refund or taxes due.
Estimate now before you eFile to get an idea of what your taxes will look like. Find out if you may owe or be owed before you e-file your return.
Find out what your estimated tax refund date will be based on your tax refund deposit method.
Bank direct deposit is the fastest method to get your tax refund money from the IRS.
Make sure you know which federal or state tax deadlines apply to you. Generally, most federal individual income tax returns are due mid April following the calendar or tax year.
Did you know that the penalties for not filing on time are bigger than not paying on time? Tax Tip: e-file a return or extension by the deadline to minimize or even eliminate these.
Most states in the United States do require an income tax return which is paid through paycheck withholding, estimated tax payments, and finalized with a tax return by either paying the remaining liability or receiving a refund. Find out which states do and which ones do not.
You can only e-file a state tax return with a federal return anywhere with the exception of California. You can, however, prepare and print a state return only on eFile.com; prepare your federal and state together returns so you can e-file both.
Estimate your potential IRS penalties if you do not file on time or pay on time. The penalties for not filing on time are more expensive than not paying on time.
Late penalties are only applied when you owe tax. When you are owed a refund, you are only penalizing yourself by not claiming the money that is rightfully yours.
Maximize your tax-free income, let eFile claim tax credits for you, and know the expenses you can and cannot deduct on your tax return. 
Find out if you actually have to file an income tax return. Based on your income type, you may not be required to file an income tax return, but it may be beneficial.
Use the free FILEuctor tool to get an answer accurately and quickly. This tool will determine if you need to or may want to file simply by answering a few questions.
Should you file yourself or as someone's dependent on your tax return? Do you have one or more dependents to claim on your return?
Find out if you qualify as a dependent on someone's return using the free tool. If someone claims you on their return, report your earned income on your tax return as a dependent.
Are you a single parent with a child or dependent? Filing as single might not be the best for you as head of household provides many benefits for someone in your situation.
See if you qualify for the Head of Household filing status using our free tax tool. Generally, if you are unmarried and claim a dependent, you my qualify.
Even you don't have to file a return, you still might want to file one for other reasons. If you need to claim certain refundable tax credits, the only way to do this is by filing a tax return.
See the benefits of filing a tax return. Get an answer quick by using the free tax tool and review some of the reasons that may apply to your situation.
Review eFile.com and IRS tax payments options on how to pay you taxes. Pay as little or as much as you can on time to avoid tax penalties.
See Federal Income Tax payment options; pay with your return on eFile.com or pay the IRS directly. A tax extension does not give you more time to pay.
After you have e-filed your return, monitor your emails, check your eFile.com account, and view your tax refund status.
Log into your eFile.com account and check the status of your federal and applicable state tax returns.
Check your tax refund status.
Make sure your tax refund will be directly deposited into your account or mailed to the address on your tax return.
The IRS and most states have online tools to track your tax refund:
Where is my federal tax refund?
Where is my state tax refund?
Download your completed tax return from your eFile.com account (under My Account) and keep it for your records. If you did not file your return on eFile.com (or even if you did), you may obtain a free transcript of your return from the IRS.
Need to make a change to an e-Filed or filed return? You will need to complete and file an amended tax return.
Know what to do in case you get audited. In most cases, audits are handled simply by verifying your identify, reviewing some information, and working with an IRS agent.
How to respond to a tax audit. The IRS will issue you a notice of any changes; respond to the notice as soon as possible. If you do no understand the notice after filing with eFile.com, contact us so we can provide guidance.

e-File Income Taxes Online

All of this can be overwhelming, but easily create a free account on eFile.com and start the tax interview process by answering a few simple questions. We make it easy for you so you don't have to worry about too many of the sometimes complicated tax law details. You can monitor your preliminary federal or IRS and state tax return as you go through the process. Before you e-file your tax return, make sure to check for errors and overall results or contact one of our Taxperts if you have questions.

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