It’s that time of year again when people must prepare and file their tax return.
For many the task can be daunting and the thought of paying costly fees to file can be worrisome.
E-filing your tax return this year however, does not have to cost you a lot of money. In fact, many people will even be able to file their return for free.
Let’s take a look at how to file taxes for less or free.
If you are not planning to itemize your return and your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less, you can file for free.
The IRS is providing this service and has partnered with different tax preparation companies to help you.
You will need to visit the IRS site to link to a private tax preparation partner. This is simple to do and the IRS has even provided a search tool to help you locate a company that will best match your needs.
Each company has partnered with the IRS to help you file a straight forward tax return. You will be able to fill out your tax forms right on line and will be guided in doing so. While filling out the forms you will be asked simple questions so that all the data needed is entered. The form will check for any math errors.
Once complete you will be able to e-file your federal return for free. In some cases you may also be able to file your state return for free or be charged a nominal fee.
The IRS also has other programs set up that, if you qualify, will prepare and file your taxes for free.
These include the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or VITA. T
his assistance is for filers who generally have an income under $49,000. Tax Counseling for the Elderly or TCE helps seniors age 60 or older to prepare and file their taxes for free. Finally, The Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps members of the military prepare and file their taxes for free. (Here is the IRS link for more info on VITA, TCE, and Military Tax Assistance.)
If you do not fall into one of the above categories there are options for you as well.
Many self tax preparation programs that you pay for do come with free income tax filing.
Usually the fees for the program are minimal and the software provided is user friendly in helping your prepare your tax return. Most programs ask you simple questions to ensure you get all the tax deductions you are entitled to. Such programs include Turbo Tax, Tax Act and H&R Block. Depending on which version of the program you purchase, you will be able to e-file your federal return for free and sometimes your state filing fee is also free. Be sure to read the fine print before purchasing.