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List of Schools with Free Online Tax Preparation Courses

See our list of the top free online tax preparation courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.

Info on Schools Offering Tax Preparation Courses Free Online

Schools generally don't offer free online courses in tax preparation, although a school may offer a related course through their OpenCourseWare (OCW). One credible source of free online tutorials in tax preparation is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a state tax department. This article offers a selection of courses from various sources. None of the courses award academic credit to the user.

Free Online Tax Preparation Courses

IRS

  • Business Taxes for the Self-Employed: The Basics is an archived webinar video that provides information on paying estimated taxes and reporting losses or profits. Record keeping and deductible expenses are also covered. Students will need a video player to view the lesson; however, a PDF version of the video is available through a PowerPoint link.
  • Get Right with Your Taxes teaches individuals about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, earned income tax credit and child tax credit. The video, which runs just under 15 minutes, also includes information on filing personal federal income taxes.
  • Link and Learn Taxes is a series of self-paced lessons for individuals who have volunteered to prepare income taxes for the elderly and low-income earners. The free online courses are available at basic, intermediate or advanced levels for the 2011 tax year. There are also military and international tracks where the user can learn tax laws pertaining to the two groups.
  • Reporting of Employer Healthcare Coverage on Form W-2 helps students learn about the reporting of healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act Provision 9002. This archived webinar video, which includes information relevant to both employers and employees, can be accessed using Adobe Flash or Windows Media Player. A PowerPoint PDF of the presentation can also be accessed.
  • Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop covers federal tax preparation and planning strategies, including the discussion of specialized topics pertinent to home-based businesses. Among the nine lessons, topics include setting up retirement plans for business owners and hiring employees, as well as managing payroll in relation to tax withholdings.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

  • Federal Income Tax Brochure provides tax information for advisers in the international education field. It gives guidelines concerning federal income tax responsibilities, such as tax residency determination and what forms to file for international students studying in the U.S. Topics covered include what is income, non-resident alien definition, who must file, tax residency determination, where to file and the length of time to keep photocopies. This resource also provides links to various IRS forms and publications.

University of California - Irvine

  • Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning offers information on preparing taxes if the user clicks on 'Lesson' at the top of the page, then on '10. (Module 3) Taxation'. This module covers the structure of federal income taxes, basic tax formulations, average tax rates, marginal tax brackets and tax planning strategies. The module also contains self-quizzes and exercises.

Utah State Tax Commission

  • Record Keeping Workshop is a general tutorial that anyone may benefit from. Modules include accounting methods and periods; why keep records; expenses, income and record organization; what records to keep; and record retention schedules.
  • Utah Individual Income Tax Return Instructions provides the user with information on completing an income tax return for Utah. Students can view the information through a series of slides with text and images. The tutorial discusses topics such as what taxes are, why one is taxed, tax laws, what is taxed, how much to pay, how to complete and file a return, as well as refund options and penalties.

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