The IRS, in a shockingly forward facing-move, began the switch from paper forms to e-file years ago. This move is incredibly savvy on their part–it makes sure that people who aren’t inclined to do forms can still file their taxes (thus increasing the money they get) and it makes processing a lot easier for them. Win-win. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to file state income taxes online.
Harder, but not impossible, of course. Here are some ways you can do it:
- You can use a state-specific program e-file. While most states have stayed very much in the era where the internet wasn’t important, there are some that have joined the internet revolution of 15 years ago. If you’re fortunate enough to live in one of those states, you can file state income taxes online using an already existing service.
- You can use a state-recommended program. If your state doesn’t offer its own e-file service, they might at least recommend ones that you should use. Sometimes sates partner with sites for that you can still file state income taxes online for free. Other states just recommend service based on cost and allow you to pick from a variety of options. No matter the case, a state recommend service is probably recommended for a reason, so it’s worth it for you to look into them.
- You can use an online tax preparation service. A lot of e-tax services offer you the ability to file state income taxes online, often paired with your federal income tax filing. The state services sometimes cost more, but they can also be partnered with a state program, making them a reduced price or free. Additionally, if you’ve already found a place to file your state income taxes that you like, there’s no reason to skip to another service. When it comes to taxes, it’s better to use something you’re comfortable with and trust–after all, it’s your money.
Of course, if you don’t want to file state income taxes online, you can always do it the old-fashioned way. And if you wish your state had an e-file service, don’t just wish–ask for one! It’s time for more states to get in line with the times and make things easier for them and their citizens.