The April 17th tax deadline is right around the corner. And it’s not too late for all you procrastinators to file your tax returns on time this year. You probably don’t feel like waiting in line at the tax store this late in tax season. The good news is that you can prepare your tax return yourself, all on-line with TurboTax right from the comfort of your own home. With TurboTax you can either do your taxes yourself and if you need to, connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can also review, sign, and file your return. No leaving your house and waiting in line necessary to get expert advice.
But what if you don’t have a working internet connection at home, or you are traveling or simply out and about? There are other places that you can file comfortably and securely.
Though you can find public Wi-Fi all over town, from fast food joints to grocery stores, from hotels to airports, you need to make sure you are filing in a location that has a secure network where you have to enter a password and not use a Wi-Fi open to guests. There are also a few other things you can do if you have to use another connection besides a home connection:
- Turn off sharing – When you’re at home you may share files, printers, etc., but when you use a public network you should turn off sharing.
- Enable your firewall – A firewall gives further protection to your computer.
- Use HTTPS – Use encrypted websites. Encryption scrambles your information into a code that isn’t accessible. You can tell if a website is encrypted by looking for the letters “https” at the beginning of the web address (the “s” stands for “secure”). Though a secure home network is your best bet, you can connect to encrypted websites through a variety of public Wi-Fi locations. Some of the most popular are coffee shops, such as Starbucks, and fast-food restaurants, such as McDonalds. If you are traveling, almost any hotel you stay at will have Wi-Fi.. There are many stores that provide free Wi-Fi for customers, such as grocery stores, department stores and the local Apple store.
The library is a great place to find a quiet Wi-Fi connection, and many transportation hubs, such as train and bus stations and airports, provide Wi-Fi as well. And you can also access Wi-Fi through your mobile device carrier. But wherever you log in from, don’t stay permanently signed into the account: log out of the Wi-Fi when you are done and use some of the other tips mentioned.
Whether you’re filing your taxes or searching the web these are tips you should always use when on your computer or mobile device.