This year I went back to using my favorite tax program, Turbo Tax www.turbotax.com. They had a couple of new things this year. One thing was the option to get your refund put on a Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card. This is especially helpful for people who don’t have a bank account. Otherwise, you can have your refund direct deposited into your savings or checking account. They also still have the option to have the TurboTax fee deducted from your refund. I have done that in times past. There is an additional $29.95 fee for this service. TurboTax has really made doing your taxes easy. I personally find it enjoyable, I look forward to doing my taxes every year. Having TurboTax walk you through the filing is so helpful and beneficial. This year we actually received a new “making work pay” credit just by answering a few questions.
For my state taxes, I usually just file for free on the Illinois Department of Revenue website http://revenue.state.il.us. I recently learned that our state has an Education Credit which anyone, including home schoolers can use. You will be allowed 25% of your student’s qualified education expenses after the first $250. Your total credit may not exceed $500 in any year regardless of the number of qualifying students. Expenses included in this credit are tuition, book fess and lab fees. On the website there are publications that you can review for more information. For Home School review Publication 119, for regular school review Publication 132. Illinois may not be the only state that offers this credit, check with your tax preparer or use TurboTax to file your state taxes and they will let you know if your state is eligible.
One benefit of using TurboTax is that you can go through all the questions before you have to pay for the use of the software. This year I actually went through the state tax filing to see how the education credit worked. When I went to file my taxes TurboTax was going to charge me $29.95 to file the state. But knowing I could do it for free, I went back and deleted the state tax info and then proceeded to file my federal taxes.
I highly recommend using TurboTax, the process is so efficient, quick and easy.