It's getting close to the end of the year, and it's a good time to take a look at whether you'll be paying taxes with your 2013 Federal return or you'll be getting a refund. You can do this with free online tax software preview versions from TaxACT and TaxSlayer that are now available. Follow the interview in the software to determine if you'll likely owe taxes, and you can take action now to reduce or eliminate a tax liability by December 31. Using the software will also help you to determine if you like using it enough to complete your official return as well.
Start Your Return Early
If you decide to use the final version of either tax software to file your return, you won't pay for it until you e-File or print a return (and you may qualify to file for free). The software will automatically update when the IRS has approved final 2013 tax forms, and any data you have entered will be saved for when you're ready to complete your return. The final versions of tax software are usually available around mid-January, but could be later this year as the IRS incorporates the Affordable Care Act regulations into U.S. tax returns.
As I mentioned earlier, you may be able to continue with a free version of TaxACT or TaxSlayer once forms are finalized. If you upgrade to a higher version, there will be a charge, although both are low priced tax software compared to the competion. Doing a state return costs extra and there may be a charge for e-Filing depending on the pricing structure for the software this year.
Mobile Apps for Personal Tax Planning and Estimating Taxes