is one of the most annoying things you will ever do. But you should do it every year, even as tax laws and requirements change. You can always pay for help preparing taxes ̵
But not everyone wants or needs software or a professional. If your tax scenario is simple or you are in a particular income bracket, you may be able to apply for free – and still get the refund you deserve. Here are some options for filing your taxes for free and details on eligibility.
1. IRS free file
If you’d rather avoid third-party software, you can always file a file directly with the IRS. The IRS offers free file software if your income is less than $ 69,000. Or you can use free fillable forms if your income is over $ 69,000.
It is important to understand the distinction: the software offers free state return options; Fillable forms not. For fillable forms, you must file your taxes yourself without help from the IRS. You need to do the math yourself and have last year’s tax returns on hand.
2. VITA or TCE
The IRS also provides free tax preparation services for those who need it most. The Income Tax Volunteer Program helps applicants who earn less than $ 56,000, people with disabilities, or those who speak limited English. The volunteers are IRS certified and provide a basic income tax return.
Tax advice for the elderly is available to all taxpayers, but is aimed at those aged 60 and over. The prep offers specific advice on retirement-related concerns that seniors are currently facing. Some people may not be retired yet but are about to retire and may benefit from TCE services.
Both VITA and TCE services are available at the community level. Use the VITA Locator Tool or call 800-906-9887 to find a VITA or TCE site near you.
3. H&R Block
While H&R Block has offices and professional help all over the country, it also provides a way to file your taxes online for free. You simply import your tax documents, switching from the software you used last year. If you have trouble submitting, you can use the H&R Block help center or online technical support.
Even with the free file you can access, including the tax credit earned. The free file software also keeps track of your refund as you complete it so you can see how much you earn.
TurboTax also charges for the use of its software or online services. But, like H&R Block, it has a free file program. Eligibility requirements are announced at the beginning of each tax season as they change every year.
Submit your federal and state taxes for free with TaxAct. You can import your returns from TurboTax or H&R Block or import your TaxAct return from last year at no extra cost. Sometimes when you are offered a free preparation you will be charged extra for file submission. But with TaxAct you can prepare, archive and print everything for free. When you file your federal return, your information will be automatically populated into your state return, making it easier and faster to fill out. As with H&R Block, you can see your estimated refund in real time.
6. eSmart tax
Liberty Tax offers eSmart Tax with a few different tiers, including a free one. To qualify, you need a relatively simple tax return with a Form 1040. You can import last year’s tax return, even from other tax carriers. While other offers have free state returns, eSmart charges extra for this service.
To be eligible for a free TaxSlayer application, you need a simple tax return. You can prepare, archive and print your return for free and receive one free return at no extra cost. While some drafters only offer online chat support, TaxSlayer has email and phone support when you need additional help. You can also deduct your filing fees from your federal tax refund.
8. Credit Karma
While Credit Karma is best known as a place to check your credit score for free, you can take advantage of the other products, including filing your taxes for free. Credit Karma also allows you to file a state return for free.
When are taxes due?
The IRS began accepting income tax returns on February 12, 2020is again this year on April 15. (Remember: you must use your Income tax return 2020 in 2021