Today I filed taxes by myself for the first time. Actually, while I am 99% finished with my return, I only filed for an extension to let me focus on some school tests this week. My taxes are unusually complicated, and so I had help from family; nevertheless, I found the whole experience unnecessarily convoluted – even more than I had expected. I now very tangibly understand the incredible amount of resources wasted in tax preparation. And by wasted, I don’t mean “spent on a less worthy cause,” but utterly lost to heat: the money and manpower used in preparing taxes goes nowhere. It does not end up in government programs, and while it provides an enormous amount of jobs to educated, intelligent citizens (CPA’s, etc), I feel that these hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled man-hours could be so much better spent.

Wow. Please excuse that rant: I try not to do this…

Anyhow, here is some surprisingly hard to find tax-filing-related tips I found rather useful:

Electric Filing PIN

To finding your Electronic Filing PIN (which you will need to e-file anywhere), you must to this page on the IRS website, fill out the form, and there you go!

https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/FreeFileForms.htm

Free File Fillable Forms offers free e-filing, but is only sufficient for VERY simple taxes.
Cool Hint: However, if you need to file an extension, and don’t want to dish out ten bucks to TurboTax, you can use Free File Fillable Forms for the extension, then go ahead and file with TurboTax later!