My MyFreeTaxes Experience
I used MyFreeTaxes for the first time last year, filing my 2016 return. Every year prior, my dad had either done my taxes for me, or he and I had worked on them – on pencil and paper – together. I was extremely confused and overwhelmed by the IRS worksheets and instructions, and as a person with more than a little bit of anxiety and a somewhat “complicated” relationship with math, I never felt quite confident sending my returns off to the IRS.
So when I began an internship with United Way’s VITA program and learned about MyFreeTaxes, I figured it was worth a try – at the very least, it must be better than puzzling over a calculator and my five different W-2s!
Using MyFreeTaxes was rewarding in more ways than one. My first year, it took only about 45 minutes from start to finish – including enough time for me to click every single “Have a question?” option available and to double-check every number I entered – and I walked away with a substantial refund.
Though I am a millennial and am therefore somewhat attached to my smartphone, I would hardly call myself a technology expert, but the MyFreeTaxes software was among the most user-friendly I’ve ever seen. Additionally, like most people I know, I’m not an expert on “adjusted gross income” and “depreciable assets,” but MyFreeTaxes used terms that I understood – no dictionary needed.
In fact, my first experience with MyFreeTaxes was so pleasant that this year filing my taxes was downright fun: I sat down in front of my computer on the very first day of tax season with a glass of wine in hand and Beyoncé on my speakers, and 30 minutes later had filed both my state and federal returns and earned another large refund.
Filing with MyFreeTaxes took the stress out of tax season for me, but also helped me build my own financial literacy and well-being. As a graduate student with little time and income, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two years worrying about money.
However, my work with United Way has bridged the gap in my financial knowledge and confidence, and I’ve used my tax refunds the past two years to build my savings account, pay the security deposit on a beautiful new apartment and even open up my first-ever retirement account.