How to file your taxes for free?

“Death and taxes” – with 2015 tax deadline approaching, this famous quote by Benjamin Franklin is more and more topical.

Even for simple tax scenarios, preparing taxes by yourself is complicated – that’s why all this tax preparation and consultation businesses are successful.

Sometimes preparing taxes can also be expensive – particularly if you happen to reside in more than one body politic during the taxation year.

Is it possible to file taxes for free? Let’s have a look at free and low cost options.

Prepare and file manually or using IRS online forms

It can be confusing for someone without special training. Tax forms are complicated - it is easy to miss something or just make an input error.

Nevertheless, you can try it here.

Using a free edition of popular tax software

Most of tax preparation software and online tools provide you a free federal tax return and e-filing on their basic versions. However, they make money by charging you for filing state reports. Prices change from roughly $20 for unlimited number of states all the way up to $30 per state – it can be pricey if you lived in several states during the taxation year.

The cheapest option we could find is provided by https://www.1040.com - $19.95 for state return for unlimited number of states.

Free versions for those who qualify

 

 

If you qualify based on your age, financial situation and other criteria, you can chose from one of the free file options on the IRS web site. Companies, in partnership with IRS provide these options and each company/product has its own eligibility criteria. There is another option for people who make $53,000 or less, have disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers to get free help with taxes.

Some states offer same partnerships or provide other free e-file options (see map above).   

Generally, if you earn less than $60,000 you will be able to find a free solution for your taxes.

Some of the best offers that we could find are:

  • TaxAct – if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $52,000 and your age is 18-58 and you file in AR, AZ, DC, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV.
  • Turbo Tax All Free version – for those who earn less than $30,000, or $60,000 for military members.
  • OLT.com – free federal and state filing if your AGI is between $13,000-$60,000, all states and any age eligible.

You can have a look at the options offered by your state on the map above. Click on the state to see the list of options.



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