Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 30, 2014

EDITORIAL: Filing taxes can be an electric experience

Goshen News

---- — This week, Goshen-area residents who could make it to their mailboxes through the snow and Arctic cold, may have found their W-2 and 1099 forms had arrived. The joy of tax season is here.

Employers have been sending out W-2 and 1099 forms in batches this past week so they can beat Friday’s deadline for providing those documents to employees and contracted help. These forms are an accounting of wages, benefits and tax-protected savings and retirement accounts. They are vital for preparing accurate tax returns.

WE ARE GOING to make the assumption here that few people enjoy filing their tax returns. But we would also like to point out filing has never been easier or quicker.

The Indiana Department of Revenue has a good website where taxpayers are directed to online filing options, something we think anyone with access to a computer should utilize. The old-fashioned paper tax booklets and forms are still available at any post office and most public libraries, but taxpayers can help their cause by using online filing to keep the cost of government in check. Online filing allows the basic checks the federal and state treasury departments use on returns to be automated, thus saving manpower and reducing mistakes.

And for low-income filers, the Indiana Department of Revenue offers INfreefile, a service that almost 1 million Hoosiers qualify for, according to the department. That sounds like a good deal for those with challenged incomes.

STILL, MANY TAXPAYERS should continue to utilize their local certified public accountant or tax service when incomes, deductions and credits issues need sorting out. There is never one filing fix for everyone.

But for those who can, we urge them to utilize electronic filing services through the Indiana Department of Revenue or a private service. Some will require a fee and others are free. All make tax collections and refunds more efficient.

And remember, this year’s tax filing deadline is April 15. Good luck!