turbotax online user interfaceFiling taxes can be a chore that most of us would rather do without. But fortunately, there are many ways to make the whole process go a lot smoother. Hiring a CPA or tax consultant is one of the most popular ways to get your taxes done, but this can often end up costing you a lot of money. A much better option in my opinion is to therefore invest in a tax preparation program like Turbotax.

For many years, Turbotax offered a boxed software program you can buy at office stores, computer stores, and many other outlets. This program will allow you to enter information about your tax situation. While you are answering questions, the program will complete your forms in the background.

Today, there is an online version of Turbotax, and this is what I encourage most people to use. The benefit of the online edition is that you need not install a program, and you can actually get started on the tax return for free. As with all Turbotax programs, the online edition has a number at the top of the screen that shows you exactly how much your refund will be as you proceed with answering the questions in the interview process.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a Turbotax free trial and Federal Free Edition you can use by going to their website. This trial actually allows you to use the program without any restrictions. When you are done using the program, you will know exactly how much your refund will be. At that time, you can decide whether or not you want to purchase the program and submit the returns. For a lucky few, you may qualify to submit your returns entirely free. However, with that said, most people do not qualify for the Turbotax Free Edition, so they will need to pay a fee if they decide to submit their returns. Users have the option to either submit returns electronically to the IRS, or mail in their forms if they prefer the traditional approach.

For other online freebies, I recommend going to Free Trial Spot.com.