Tax tips: How to get it right by April 15
(CBS News) Tax season is here and while we all know that the faster you file your taxes, the faster you'll get your refund, but unfortunately it's really not that simple.
It's important to know when to use a tax professional or when to file on your own and what resources to use for either route. Consumers often aren't sure which documents and receipts to keep organized or even what deductions they qualify for.Special Section: Tax Season
$917M in unclaimed tax refunds to expire April 15
"If you have complicated taxes at all, you're self-employed, exercise stock options, do business across state lines, you absolutely should work with accountants," said Alexa Von Tobel founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, a site that helps consumers with financial issues. "Taxes are complicated, and they're changing all the time. So if you're complicated, you need to work with a tax expert."
For those that have basic returns and decide to go it on their own, there are many tax-friendly software options out there that make doing this yearly exercise less intimidating.
"If it's a pretty simple filing, we recommend software like Turbotax and Taxcat and to go to the IRS website; there are discounts that abound right now online," Von Tobel said.
Tax changes affect retirement planning
Technology also makes it a lot easier to track receipts all year long. Filers can use a basic scanner on a daily or weekly basis to keep up with incoming receipts, or they can take advantage of new apps geared toward keeping people financially organized. Whatever you use to stay organized, what is most important is that you keep up to date as the year goes on and do not scramble to get it together at the beginning of tax season.
For Americans who still need to file their taxes, Von Tobel suggests filing online. They'll get their refund quickly. It's safe, fast, and the IRS gives filers an automatic confirmation.
For Alexa Von Tobel's full interview, watch the video in the player above.
- Boston bombing suspect's friend killed in FBI shootout
- Stories of survival: Second-grader recounts tornado
- Doctor: Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison"
- Boston bombings suspect left note in boat he hid in
- Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2013 list released
- Spirit Airlines CEO on bad ratings, high occupancy
- Carey: Why I changed my mind about "Price is Right"
- Mark Harmon: Humor and characters make "NCIS" a hit
- Coach's quick call saves Moore football team
- Deadly second act: 1999 Moore tornado vs. 2013 storm
- Spirit Airlines CEO: We're the McDonald's of airlines
- One-pilot flights: Revolutionary or "ludicrous?"
- Jodi Arias reveals plans for prison
- Pregnant teacher used body to shield kids from tornado
- Couple hiding in bathtub saved by Okla. first responders
- Noisy cicadas come back to life after years underground