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Prepare your own taxes with step-by-step instructions

Prepare your own taxes with step-by-step instructions
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No one looks forward to preparing their taxes. It's a hassle and, worse, if you don't do it right there could be an audit in your future.

The easiest way to make sure your taxes are done correctly is to take them to your accountant, although that can get pricey. Fortunately, with 120 million people using a computer or online program to file their own taxes each year, according to the IRS, there are plenty of tax preparation programs for you to do your own taxes.

Even better, since so many people are filing tax returns electronically, tax prep programs and sites are working harder to win your business. Many of them are offering low-cost or no-cost options. Plus, tax preparation programs like TurboTax have experts on hand, just in case you get stuck using the step-by-step instructions. (See photo.)

TurboTax is one of the most widely used tax-preparation tools out there, and it's great for people who have straightforward returns to file. Its step-by-step questionnaire makes it easy to make sure all the boxes are checked on your forms. It will even tell you to skip many of the steps if you don't have a lot of information to report.

If you're in a more complicated situation with deductions and such, TurboTax is helpful, too. While it can get time-consuming to answer all its questions, and provide details from tax forms, TurboTax will walk you through each step.

TurboTax

Next page: TurboTax prices start at $0
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