February is almost over and financial institutions are finally catching up with their paperwork to send out the 1099’s. This year April 15th is a Tuesday, so no reprieves for observation of Sundays. Although you can extend your filing date, you MUST [over] pay your taxes by April 15th if you are going to owe taxes.
During this economic climate, many people change jobs often. This makes estimating your taxes based on previous year returns very difficult. The easiest way to see approximately how much you’ll owe is to go through a tax filing program like TurboTax with the information you have now (W-2, 1099, most of your medical bills) and get a really good estimate. Then you can go through your return with a fine tooth comb later to add information you can’t compile in time.
Intuit has has many different grades for their TurboTax software from Basic to UltraMaxCandylandUnicornDream. If you know exactly what you’re doing, you CAN get the Basic version and file additional forms manually. If you need the step by step guidance, you must move on to Deluxe (for home owners), Premium (for stocks/bonds/investments) and Home & Business (for science teachers who run a lab in their basement).
If you don’t know which one you need and you’re willing to pay for upgrades, then you can start for free online at TurboTax.com and let the website determine which grade you need automatically as you progress.
But if you need to make many different filing scenarios to see if filing jointly/separately gets you better benefits, or if a home office is worth the calculation, then I recommend getting the packaged version and saving multiple files.