How to Use PDF: Tax Season Edition

Taxes. Filing them is a nuisance for everyone. In the US, the mere mention of tax season conjures up images of the Statue of Liberty waving signs on street corners and e-filing companies plugging their product online. If you’re a DIY-type, you don’t need a man dressed in a green-foam crown; instead, you just need to know the best practices for keeping records straight, filling out forms, and filing on time in this digital world. When you’re ready to get down to brass taxes, Nitro can help.

Milo IRS

Step One: Scope Out Your Scanner

Getting organized for tax season means gathering all relevant documentation from employers, financial institutions, and charitable organizations then scanning them all for easy reference later in the tax filing process.

There are two ways to create a PDF while scanning documents: directly within the application, or automatically when you scan it.

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Whichever way you choose, both will allow you to make your documents searchable using our OCR technology to call up particular pieces of information on those files in the future.

Make sure to save all your documents into one folder and save it in a secure location.

Step Two: Filling Out Your 1040 (Or Equivalent)

You can download a 1040 from the IRS website and open it in Nitro Pro. Once opened, Pro will recognize the document as having fillable form fields (you’ll know this has happened by the blue icon and message at the top of your browser). Make sure you have checked the “Highlight Form Fields” box, which will make the fields appear cerulean.  Simply click on those spaces to fill out the form.

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Pro tip!  If you would like to view two documents together, such as your scanned W-2 and your 1040, right-click on the document tab and select “New Vertical Tab Group” or “New Horizontal Tab Group.” The two documents now show up next to each other. (You can do this with an even larger volume of documents, grouping multiple files into different tabbed sections.)

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Since much of the information between the two is the same, you can now copy and paste from the W-2 to the 1040 without much effort. In order to manually input information, simply click on the field you want to input information in, and start typing. Using the Tab key on your keyboard (I know, so many tabs!), you can move from field to field without taking a hand off the keyboard and using your mouse.

Step Three: Merge and Save Files

Finally, you can merge all your records for the year in one PDF using the “Combine” button in the Home tab.

Once you click “Combine,” select “Add Files” – and add each file you want in one whole document. Remember, you can merge all files types, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and JPEG; you are not limited to PDF.

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Save to your computer in your preferred filing method, and you now have easily accessible, paperlessly filed documents.

Pro Tip: for extra security, check out our protection tools.

Step Four: Submission

Since you’re a DIY-er, you probably wanted to fill out your forms, then print them out and mail them off. Last year, nearly 120 million U.S. taxpayers opted to submit their individual tax returns via the IRS e-file which eliminated the need for additional paperwork and postage fees.  Should you decide to e-file through a trusted, certified CPA, you can secure your PDF and email it to your tax preparer directly within Nitro Pro. In the “File” menu, select “Share.” Your email will automatically open, with the document attached.

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Tax forms are tricky enough – there is a lot of information you have to collect and get right. Nitro Pro can help you stay organized and file on time in 2014!

The author would like to thank former Nitro Sales team member Rich Ingram for his insight on the topic of using Nitro Pro for tax preparation.