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Avoid Delays and Errors When You Download 2021 Taxes


How to Download 2021 Taxes Using Online Tax Software




If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you might be wondering how to download your 2021 taxes and file them online. Filing your taxes online can be faster, easier, and cheaper than hiring an accountant or going to a tax preparation office. Plus, you can get your refund sooner and avoid potential errors and fraud.


In this article, we'll show you how to download your 2021 taxes using online tax software. We'll also explain why you should file your taxes online, how to get your tax records and transcripts from the IRS, and how to use online tax software to file your taxes. By the end of this article, you'll be ready to download and file your taxes online with confidence.




download 2021 taxes



Why You Should File Your Taxes Online




Filing your taxes online has many benefits over filing them on paper or with a professional. Here are some of the reasons why you should file your taxes online:


  • It's convenient. You can file your taxes anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection and a browser. You don't need to make an appointment, wait in line, or deal with paperwork. You can also save your progress and resume later if you need to.



  • It's affordable. Many online tax software offer free or low-cost options for filing your federal and state taxes. You can also save money on fees, stamps, and transportation costs. Some online tax software even offer discounts or cash back for using their services.



  • It's accurate. Online tax software use the latest tax laws and forms to calculate your taxes correctly. They also check for errors and inconsistencies before you submit your return. You can also import your tax records and transcripts from the IRS or other sources to avoid manual entry mistakes.



  • It's fast. Online tax software can help you complete your tax return in minutes or hours, depending on the complexity of your situation. You can also get your refund faster by choosing direct deposit instead of a paper check. The IRS says most refunds are issued within 21 days of filing electronically, but some taxpayers are already reporting delays, which means you should file as soon as possible if you want your refund sooner rather than later.



  • It's secure. Online tax software use encryption and other security measures to protect your personal and financial information. They also comply with IRS standards and regulations for online tax filing. Filing your taxes online can also reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud by limiting the exposure of your sensitive data.



With so many benefits, it's no wonder that more than 90% of taxpayers file their taxes online, according to the IRS. But how do you choose the best online tax software for your situation?


There are many online tax software available in the market, each with its own features, prices, and customer reviews. Some of the most popular ones include TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct, Cash App Taxes, FreeTaxUSA, TaxSlayer, Jackson Hewitt Online, and Liberty Tax. To find the best one for you, you should consider factors such as:


  • Your income level. Some online tax software offer free federal and state filing for taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) below a certain threshold, usually $73,000 or less in 2021. Others charge a fee based on the complexity of your return or the forms you need to file.



  • Your tax situation. Some online tax software are better - Your tax situation. Some online tax software are better suited for certain types of taxpayers, such as self-employed, freelancers, investors, homeowners, students, retirees, or military personnel. They may offer specific features, deductions, or credits that can help you save money on your taxes. You should also check if the software supports the forms and schedules you need to file, such as Schedule C, Schedule E, or Form 1099.



  • Your level of support. Some online tax software provide more guidance and assistance than others, depending on your preference and confidence. They may offer live chat, phone, or email support, as well as access to tax experts, CPAs, or enrolled agents. They may also have online help centers, FAQs, tutorials, or forums where you can find answers to your questions.



  • Your budget and preferences. Some online tax software charge more or less than others, depending on the features and services they offer. You should compare the prices and plans of different software and see what fits your budget and needs. You should also consider your personal preferences, such as the user interface, the ease of use, the customer reviews, or the brand reputation.



By comparing and evaluating different online tax software based on these factors, you can find the best one for you. You can also use online tools or websites that can help you compare and review different online tax software, such as NerdWallet, The Balance, PCMag, or Wirecutter.


How to Get Your Tax Records and Transcripts from the IRS




Before you can download and file your 2021 taxes using online tax software, you need to get your tax records and transcripts from the IRS. These are documents that show your tax history and information for previous years. They can help you verify your income, deductions, credits, payments, or refunds. They can also help you avoid errors or audits by matching your information with the IRS.


There are two main types of tax records and transcripts that you can get from the IRS: tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts. A tax return transcript shows most of the information from your original tax return, including your adjusted gross income (AGI), which is required by most online tax software to verify your identity. A tax account transcript shows basic information from your tax return, as well as any changes or adjustments made by you or the IRS after you filed your return.


You can get your tax records and transcripts from the IRS in two ways: online or by mail or phone. Here's how:


How to download 2021 taxes online


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How to access your tax records online




The easiest and fastest way to get your tax records and transcripts from the IRS is to access them online. You can do this by using the IRS Get Transcript tool, which allows you to view, print, or download your transcripts for free. To use this tool, you need to:


  • Create an account on the IRS website by providing your email address, phone number, Social Security number (SSN), date of birth, filing status, and current address.



  • Verify your identity by answering some questions based on your credit report or financial accounts.



  • Select the type of transcript you want (tax return or tax account) and the year you want (2021 or earlier).



  • View, print, or download your transcript as a PDF file.



Note that the IRS Get Transcript tool only shows transcripts for the current year and the past three years. If you need older transcripts, you have to request them by mail or phone.


How to request your transcripts by mail or phone




If you prefer to receive your transcripts by mail or phone, you can also request them from the IRS for free. To do this, you need to:


  • Fill out Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. You can download these forms from the IRS website or order them by calling 800-908-9946.



  • Indicate the type of transcript you want (tax return or tax account) and the year you want (2021 or earlier).



  • Mail or fax the form to the appropriate address or number listed on the form instructions.



  • Wait for your transcript to arrive by mail within 5 to 10 days of the IRS receiving your request.



Note that requesting your transcripts by mail or phone may take longer than accessing them online. You should also make sure that your address on file with the IRS is correct before requesting your transcripts. If you need - If you need to update your address, you can do so online, by phone, or by mail. You can find more information on how to change your address on the IRS website.


How to Use Online Tax Software to Download and File Your Taxes




Once you have your tax records and transcripts from the IRS, you can use online tax software to download and file your 2021 taxes. Online tax software can help you prepare and submit your tax return electronically or by mail, depending on your preference. Here are the steps to use online tax software to download and file your taxes:


How to create an account and enter your personal information




The first step to use online tax software is to create an account and enter your personal information. You can do this by:


  • Choosing the online tax software that best suits your needs and budget. You can compare and review different online tax software using online tools or websites, as mentioned earlier.



  • Visiting the website of the online tax software and clicking on the sign up or start button. You may have to choose a plan or package that matches your tax situation and level of support.



  • Creating an account using your email address, phone number, or social media account. You may also have to create a username and password, and agree to the terms and conditions of the service.



  • Entering your personal information, such as your name, address, SSN, date of birth, filing status, and dependents. You may also have to enter your bank account information if you want to receive your refund by direct deposit or pay any fees by electronic funds withdrawal.



Note that some online tax software may ask you to verify your identity by providing a photo ID, a selfie, or a code sent to your phone or email. This is to prevent fraud and protect your information.


How to import your tax records and transcripts into the software




The next step to use online tax software is to import your tax records and transcripts into the software. This can help you save time and avoid errors by automatically filling in some of the information on your tax return. You can do this by:


  • Accessing your tax records and transcripts from the IRS using the Get Transcript tool, as explained earlier. You can view, print, or download them as PDF files.



  • Uploading or dragging and dropping your PDF files into the online tax software. Some online tax software may also allow you to scan or take a picture of your paper documents using your phone or webcam.



  • Reviewing and confirming the information imported from your tax records and transcripts. You may have to make some adjustments or corrections if there are any changes or discrepancies.



Note that some online tax software may also allow you to import other documents or information from other sources, such as your employer, bank, broker, or previous year's return. This can help you report your income, deductions, credits, or payments more accurately.


How to answer questions and review your tax return




The next step to use online tax software is to answer questions and review your tax return. This can help you complete your tax return and optimize your refund or minimize your liability. You can do this by:


  • Answering questions about your income, expenses, deductions, credits, health insurance, retirement savings, education, etc. The online tax software will ask you questions based on your situation and guide you through the process. You may have to enter some numbers or select some options from a list.



  • Reviewing your tax return and checking for errors or missing information. The online tax software will show you a summary of your tax return and highlight any issues or suggestions. You may have to go back and edit some sections or add some forms or schedules.



  • Comparing your refund or balance due with different scenarios or options. The online tax software will show you how changing some variables or choices can affect your outcome. You may have to adjust some numbers or select some options from a list.



Note that some online tax software may also provide you with additional features or services, such as audit protection, identity theft monitoring, refund advance loans, etc. These may come with extra fees or conditions that you should be aware of before signing up.


How to e-file or print and mail your tax return




The final step to use online tax software is to e-file or print and mail - The final step to use online tax software is to e-file or print and mail your tax return. This can help you submit your tax return to the IRS and get your refund or pay your balance due. You can do this by:


  • Choosing whether to e-file or print and mail your tax return. The online tax software will show you the pros and cons of each option and help you decide. Generally, e-filing is faster, easier, and more secure than mailing, but some taxpayers may not be eligible or prefer to mail their returns.



  • Signing and verifying your tax return. The online tax software will ask you to sign your tax return electronically using a self-selected PIN or a signature form. You may also have to verify your identity by providing your AGI from last year or a code sent to your phone or email.



  • Submitting your tax return to the IRS. The online tax software will send your tax return to the IRS electronically or generate a PDF file that you can print and mail. You will receive a confirmation email or message from the online tax software and the IRS when your tax return is accepted or rejected.



  • Tracking your refund or balance due. The online tax software will show you the status of your refund or balance due and how to receive or pay it. You can also check the status of your refund on the IRS website or app using the Where's My Refund tool. You can pay your balance due online, by phone, by mail, or in person using various methods, such as electronic funds withdrawal, credit or debit card, check or money order, cash, or installment agreement.



Note that some online tax software may charge you a fee for e-filing your state tax return, even if they offer free federal e-filing. You should check the price and terms of the service before submitting your state tax return.


Conclusion and FAQs




In conclusion, downloading and filing your 2021 taxes using online tax software can be a convenient, affordable, accurate, fast, and secure way to complete your tax return and get your refund or pay your balance due. To do this, you need to:


  • Choose the best online tax software for your situation.



  • Get your tax records and transcripts from the IRS.



  • Import your tax records and transcripts into the software.



  • Answer questions and review your tax return.



  • E-file or print and mail your tax return.



By following these steps, you can download and file your taxes online with confidence. Here are some FAQs about online tax filing and downloading taxes:


FAQs




  • When is the deadline to file my 2021 taxes?



The deadline to file your 2021 taxes is April 18, 2023 for most taxpayers. However, some taxpayers may have an extension or a different deadline depending on their situation. For example, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2023 to file their taxes because of Patriots' Day. Taxpayers who live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana have until June 15, 2023 to file their taxes because of the winter storm disaster relief. Taxpayers who are abroad have until June 15, 2023 to file their taxes. Taxpayers who need more time can request an extension until October 17, 2023 by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.


  • How do I know if I qualify for free online tax filing?



You may qualify for free online tax filing if your AGI is below a certain threshold, usually $73,000 or less in 2021. However, different online tax software may have different eligibility criteria based on your income level, age, state of residence, military status, etc. You should check the details and terms of each online tax software before choosing one. You can also use the IRS Free File tool to find out which online tax software you can use for free.


  • What if I made a mistake on my tax return?



If you made a mistake on your tax return, you may be able to correct it by filing an amended return using Form 1040-X, - Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You can file Form 1040-X online or by mail, depending on the year and type of your original return. You should file Form 1040-X within three years of the date you filed your original return or within two years of


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