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Ways You Can File Taxes Online for Free


Ways You Can File Taxes Online for Free

Adam Krause
by Adam Krause, Contributor

If you are counting on your tax refund to help you pay the bills, you probably don’t have a lot of extra income for an accountant. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of ways to file taxes online for free. Filing taxes online will reduce the chance of mathematical errors and it can help you find tax credits or tax deductions you didn’t realize you could claim.

One popular method is FreeFile, a service available on the IRS website. The e-file process, meaning that you file taxes online and the return goes directly to the IRS with no paper tax forms necessary, is free for all users. However, users who wish to use the free IRS tax software to help fill out the return must have an AGI (adjusted gross income) of less than $57,000.

Alternatively, you can use websites such as TurboTax to file taxes online. TurboTax Free Addition offers a free federal tax return (for relatively simple filing situations) and charges $30.99 for each state tax return. This is still more economical than hiring an accountant, whose state return fees might vary from state-to-state. TurboTax can also file taxes online for you and allow you to defer payment until you receive your income tax refund. If you select this option, the refund would go to TurboTax and they would deposit it in your bank account after deducting their fee.

There are also many TurboTax competitors allowing you to file taxes online for free. These include TaxACT, H & R Block and Tax Slayer. H & R Block is already a respected brand in the field of tax preparation, due to the services available at their brick-and-mortar locations. Tax Slayer is fairly new and has gotten generally favorable reviews, though some users fault it for the extra fees it imposes on amending their tax returns. TaxACT is very popular as well, and advertises the fact that any user, at any income level, can file taxes online. This distinguishes it from the service offered by the IRS, with its income limits.

Of course, any company that lets you file taxes online for free, as well as use their free software for simple returns, is hoping to upgrade you to a more profitable product. But if you know you only need to file taxes online, and don’t need to save your return from year-to-year or seek any special advice, then ignore the ads for premium versions that these companies will show you while you file. Instead, just get your taxes done correctly, on time, and for free.