If you're like a lot of Americans, you probably dread doing your taxes. And if you're like 70 percent of Americans, you try to make tax season a little less painful by filing them online. This story is geared more toward the other 30 percent--the people who still pick up a pencil and punch out figures on a calculator, the people who still line up at a post office or April 15, awaiting their receipt for registered mail.
Filing taxes online is quick, and it guarantees your refund will arrive faster, says CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt. And if you use online or desktop tax-preparation software, the benefits are numerous, according to Dolcourt, who has reviewed different brands of such programs for years. But if you do choose to file electronically, there are some basic safety guidelines to follow: Make sure your antivirus software is up to date, delete any cookies on your computer, and clear your cache. We're not promising tax season will become enjoyable--just a little less stressful.
CNET's tax guide