It’s Tax Day, and if you haven’t filed your taxes already, you can file Form 4868 to get an extension until Oct. 16. That extension does not, however, apply to taxes due from previous tax years. Now that you have extra time to file, here are your options for filing and some of the switches you might use in doing so.
Free and Paid Tax Software
If you have just one job and one W-2, most tax filing software should be free to you. It shouldn’t take more than an hour and your smartphone to complete your federal and state tax filings. As of 2021, 27 percent of filers used free tax software to file their taxes, which was the most popular means of filing. Another 18 percent used paid tax software.
If you do freelance work like me, use part of your home as an office, and drive a personal vehicle to complete that work, you’ll likely be asked to pay a fee to file Schedule C forms that itemize your business expenses. The Cash App does allow you file these forms for free, however. I used the app yesterday and completed my taxes in about an hour.
I did my taxes entirely with my smartphone. Some tax software allows you to use the camera to avoid entering the information from your tax forms and simply take pictures of those forms. On my iPhone, either volume button can be used to take a photo, and those buttons are tactile switches with minimal travel.
The TL1016 Series micro-miniature, right angle tact switch is a great choice for applications like smartphones. It measures just 3.5 by 3.5 millimeters, leaving plenty of space on the circuit board. It features travel of just 0.2 millimeters, a life expectancy of up to 100,000 cycles, and an operating temperature range of -40 to 85° Celsius. It also arrives in tape and reel packaging for automated installation, with 3,500 pieces per reel. View the datasheet to learn more.
A Computer and Tax Software
There are plenty of reasons to use your personal computer rather than your smartphone for tax purposes. Security is one. Your phone can be lost and hacked more easily than your personal computer. Also, the font size is bigger on your PC than it is on your phone, and you can more easily switch between applications, like an Excel spreadsheet or the calculator app, for instance.
Your computer keyboard might also feature a numeric keypad that’s easier to use than the keyboard on your smartphone. The KS1100 Series pushbutton switch from E-Switch offers keyboard functionality for these numeric keyboards, with long travel up to 4 millimeters and a long electrical life of 50 million cycles. You can view the datasheet and check availability right on our website.
A Calculator and IRS Free File
Once you file an extension, you can also print the forms directly from the IRS.gov website and mail them. One thing I did wish I still had was a calculator. I know there’s one on my phone, but switching between the tax software and the calculator can make things difficult. I often forgot the number I calculated when entering it into the tax software.
Calculators feature low profile, surface mountable tact switches like the TL3315 Series from E-Switch. The TL3315 Series features a 0.55-millimeter profile and a life expectancy up to one million cycles, which it makes it perfect for long-life applications like calculators. Check out the datasheet and availability near you.
So if you haven’t completed your taxes yet, don’t fret, and take some time to appreciate the switches that make filing taxes so much simpler.