Filing taxes is an essential part of being a responsible citizen. However, the traditional method of hiring a professional accountant to file your taxes can be expensive at times. It is not uncommon for taxpayers to find themselves paying substantial fees for tax preparation and filing. This can be frustrating since you are already paying taxes on your income. Moreover, incorrect filing may result in fines and penalties. Therefore, it’s vital that you understand how to file your taxes without paying.
10 Websites Where You Can File Your Taxes For Free
One of the easiest ways to file your taxes for free is by using free tax filing software available online. These websites offer free federal tax filing, but some may have state filing fees. Let’s explore ten such websites that enable you to file your taxes and save money.
- TurboTax: TurboTax offers free federal and state tax filing for simple tax returns. Federal filing is free for 1040EZ and 1040A forms.
- H&R Block: H&R Block offers free online federal tax filing with a maximum refund guarantee. This option is ideal for taxpayers who file a simple tax return.
- FreeTaxUSA: FreeTaxUSA allows taxpayers to file federal taxes for free and offers low-cost state tax filing. The website offers a simple interface, but it may not be ideal for complex tax returns.
- Credit Karma Tax: Credit Karma Tax is an excellent option for taxpayers who have simple tax returns. This website enables users to file taxes for free without any hidden fees.
- Jackson Hewitt: Jackson Hewitt offers free federal tax filing options for taxpayers with a simple tax return. Taxpayers can also opt for paid services if they have a more complicated tax return.
- IRS Free File: IRS Free File provides free federal tax filing options to taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of less than $72,000. The website partners with various tax software companies to offer this service.
- TaxAct: TaxAct offers free federal tax filing for taxpayers who have straightforward tax returns. The online tax software comes with basic support and resources.
- Online Taxes: Online Taxes offers free federal tax filing for taxpayers who qualify for the free file program. The site charges a nominal fee for state tax filing.
- 1040.com: 1040.com provides free federal tax filing for simple tax returns. For more complex tax scenarios, the website has paid tiers available.
- TaxSlayer: TaxSlayer offers free federal tax filing for simple tax returns. For more complex tax scenarios, the site has multiple paid tiers available.
The Benefits of Filing Your Taxes Yourself and How You Can Do It For Free
Many taxpayers are hesitant about filing their taxes themselves, thinking that it is complicated and requires professional help. However, filing your taxes on your own can have several benefits, including financial control and understanding your finances better. Additionally, learning how to file taxes ensures that you won’t get fined for incorrect filing in the future.
Fortunately, several free tax software options can help you file taxes quickly and efficiently. The following are the most popular tax software that you can use for free:
- TurboTax Free Edition: TurboTax offers a free edition for individuals who file a straightforward tax return. The software’s user-friendly interface helps you file your taxes smoothly.
- H&R Block Free Edition: H&R Block’s free edition provides tax support, including access to tax professionals, and allows taxpayers to file simple tax returns at no extra charge.
- TaxAct Free Edition: TaxAct allows you to file state and federal taxes for free if you have a simple tax return. The interface is easy to use and can help taxpayers identify any potential deductions that they can claim.
5 Ways to Get Free Tax Help + How to Avoid Scams
If you’re filing your taxes yourself, you may need additional support to ensure that you’re on the right track. Fortunately, several free resources can provide you with assistance and advice. Here are five places to seek free tax help:
- IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers: The IRS offers on-site service at taxpayer assistance centers, where you can get help with filling various tax forms and answering queries.
- VITA Program: The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free service offered by certified volunteers who help individuals with low to moderate income to file their taxes.
- TCE Program: The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides free tax help and counseling for elderly taxpayers who have unique tax issues.
- State Departments of Revenue: The State Departments of Revenue offer free tax help and support to taxpayers who need assistance with filing their state tax returns.
- Online Tax Forums: Several online forums provide users with free tax help and support. However, they may not be suitable for complex tax scenarios.
While there are resources available to help taxpayers file taxes for free, there are also scams that people should be aware of. Phishing scams, identity theft, and dishonest tax preparers are some of the most common scams related to taxes. To avoid tax scams, ensure that you verify the legitimacy of all services used and keep your personal information secure.
Maximizing Your Tax Refund: How to File for Free and Get the Biggest Refund Possible
Another advantage of filing your taxes yourself is that you can maximize your tax refund. Here are some tips to help you get the biggest refund possible:
- Claim all deductions and credits: Deductions and credits can help you reduce your taxable income, thereby increasing your refund. Ensure that you identify which deductions and credits you’re eligible for and claim them when filing your taxes.
- File as early as possible: Filing early can help you avoid the last-minute rush, and more importantly, increase your refund if you’re entitled to it.
- Use free tax software: Many free tax software solutions are designed to identify deductions and credits that you may have missed. Some software solutions can complete most of your tax return automatically, ensuring that you don’t miss any essential claims.
A Beginner’s Guide to Filing Your Taxes for Free
If you’re filing your taxes for the first time, the process may seem daunting. But don’t worry; it’s straightforward. Here’s how to file taxes for free:
- Collect your documents: Collect all relevant documents required to file taxes, including income statements, tax payment statements, and any other expense related documents.
- Choose a tax software: Choose your preferred tax software or use the paper forms provided by the IRS.
- Fill in the details: Fill in all the necessary details that are required for your tax return. Answer the questions provided in the tax software or in the paper form provided by the IRS.
- Double-check your work: Ensure that you verify all details that you have entered before submitting your return. Re-check all calculations to prevent any errors or mistakes.
- Submit your return: Once you have completed your tax return, submit the forms or the information online to the relevant authorities to ensure that you meet all requirements.
The Top Free Tax Filing Options for Low-Income Earners
For low-income earners, filing taxes can be challenging due to the costs associated with hiring a professional. Fortunately, several tax filing options cater to individuals with limited income and offer free filing options. Here are four free filing options for low-income earners:
- IRSFreeFile: IRS Free File is an ideal option for taxpayers with an income of less than $72,000. The program partners with private tax software companies and allows low-income earners to file their taxes for free without any hidden fees.
- VITA Program: The VITA Program offers free tax filing assistance to taxpayers with an income of less than $57,000. The program volunteers are certified and can help with tax liability, credits, and other similar issues that low-income earners might have.
- TCE Program: The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is specially designed for elderly taxpayers and provides free tax counseling and preparation support to those who need it.
- FreeTaxUSA: FreeTaxUSA provides free federal tax returns for low-income earners, and also offers low-cost state filing for those required to file state taxes.
Filing taxes for free can save you hundreds of dollars in fees and penalties. By choosing the right tax software, being aware of free tax resources, and avoiding scams, you can file your taxes without any hassles. Additionally, with these tips and guidelines, you can maximize your refund and ensure that you get the most out of your tax return.