If you’ve never taken advantage of the many free tax-filing options out there, you could be missing out. There are several free – or low cost – options available that will not only save you money, but will also simplify the process of filing your taxes.
Here is a look at the best free online tax filing services that won’t break the bank.
Top free or cheap tax filing services
The following do-it-yourself online tax filing options will offer big-time savings if you’re used to paying a tax pro to handle all of your paperwork. Better still, the sites make filing a painless, step-by-step process, which is why more and more people are logging in to settle up with the IRS.
Note: Some free services aren’t available to homeowners or other taxpayers with itemized deductions.
1. IRS Free File
The IRS offers Free File, a service that allows people earning $72,000 or less to choose from a variety of online tax software options. The Free File Alliance, as it’s called, is a partnership between the IRS and 12 independent software providers. Some participating Free File companies offer free state tax prep and e-file. Those with higher incomes can file free online using the free fillable forms. Users choose from among the participating software offerings, file their returns electronically and receive their refunds via direct deposit.
Those with an income limit of $66,000 can turn to MyFreeTaxes.com, which is offered by the Walmart Foundation, Goodwill Industries, the National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide. The free service covers both federal and state taxes.
3. TurboTax Free Edition
The major commercial tax companies are also getting in on the free offerings, but you might have to shell out a few bucks for state filing or other advanced services. TurboTax’s Federal Free Edition covers simple tax returns, and its free TurboTax Live Basic package offers a live on-screen help function if you need an expert to walk you through the process. You can also ask questions of the online TurboTax community. If you have more complicated taxes, you can upgrade your package for $40 to $90.
4. H&R Block
H&R Block offers free online filing of simple federal and state returns for students, unemployment income and W-2 employees. The free tax-filing option does not come with access to a help desk; that costs $39.99. Its for-fee packages range from $29.99 to $84.99.
Taxact.com is offering free federal and state tax returns for those filing simple 1040 EZ/A returns. Simple filers can get the free option, and other packages cost up to $64.95 for the self-employed package, with an additional cost for state filing.
Another online tax preparation service, TaxSlayer will let taxpayers with a simple tax situation (Basic 1040) file one free federal and one free state return. Other packages start at $17 for federal tax filing (additional $32 for each state); the self-employed option starts at $47 for a federal return.
Check out these articles for more tax information:
- Tax deductions parents shouldn’t miss
- Save money on tax preparation by doing your own taxes
- Where to find free help with your taxes
- Tax return tips from a tax pro
- Tax deductions for kids’ college expenses