Here are three ways you might be able to file taxes online free. Two of which I’ve used in the past:
1. TaxACT Free Federal Edition (TaxACT.com)
With TaxACT you can a e-file a 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ for free. No income or age restrictions apply. Your state return, however, will be $14.95. Hopefully you’re like me and live in a State with no income tax. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay that fee. But it’s not very expensive compared to other sites.
I began using TaxACT back in tax year 2001. That was the first year I did my taxes by myself (my Father is a CPA with a tax practice) and so I wanted to do them as cheap as possible.
Back then you couldn’t e-file for free like you can today, so I would use the online software (from a library computer) and complete the 1040, print it out, and mail it in. I did this for 6 years, up until I got married. I even did my wife’s while we were dating using this service.
2. Free File (IRS.gov)
Free File is a free federal income tax preparation and electronic filing program developed through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance LLC. The Free File Alliance is a group of tax software companies you can choose from when filing through Free File.
Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be $57,000 or less to use this service. According to the IRS, 70% of all tax payers are eligible based on AGI.
I believe this is actually how I discovered TaxACT back in the day. At the time they were involved with this program.
Now it looks like several other companies are involved: Tax Simple, H&R Block’s Free File, Free1040TaxReturn, 1040.com Free File Edition, TurboTax® Freedom Edition, FileYourTaxes.com, FreeTaxUSA® IRS Free File Edition, 1040NOW.NET, yesicanefile.org, OnlineTaxPros.com, TaxSlayer, Online Taxes at OLT.com, eSmartTax By Liberty Tax Service, ezTaxReturn.com.
The IRS has a nice tool to help you sort through this list to find a company that’s right for you based on your criteria. The IRS site says that some of these companies may even offer state return filing for free as well.
3. TurboTax® Federal Free Edition (TurboTax.com)
With TurboTax® Federal Free Edition you can file a 1040EZ and other “simple” returns. Your state will cost you $27.95. Yikes! I looked up the other “simple” returns and found that they cover the following:
- Form 1040 Schedule A – Itemized Deductions
- Form 1040A – Individual Income Tax Return
- Schedule B – Interest & Dividend Income
- Schedule EIC – Earned Income Credit
- Schedule SE – Self-Employment Tax
The good thing about this version is that you can e-file for free and there is no income threshold. So if you live in a state with no income tax, have income higher than $57k, and don’t have any business income, then this is the service for you.
Additional Tips on Filing for Free
- The IRS has an extensive list of other available e-filers on the web.
- If you don’t qualify for the 3 above or you’re not comfortable using online services, try this method: go in for half with a friend on TurboTax in the box. Each piece of software is good for two computers. This is actually what I did one year. The box of software cost us $20 ($10 a piece).
Do you plan on filing your taxes for free this year?
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