There are several options you can find online that will save you money on your tax filing. Keep in mind that in most cases you will be e-filing, in other words you’ll be doing your taxes without the help of a tax preparer. However, if you’re ready to dive into your taxes and save some money on top of it, these options will be your best bet.
The good news is, if you don’t have any dependents, you might not need any help! There is a form called a 1040-EZ that you may be able to use. Filing a 1040-EZ form is, well, easy! It’s a one page document, and all you’ll need to do is answer a few questions and file it with the IRS. The only caveat is that your taxable income needs to be less than $100,000.
Turbotax offers a free edition for those with an adjusted income of $33,000 or less, or those who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you file your taxes this way, but choose to upgrade to another version all your data is transferred so that you don’t have to start over from scratch.
H&R Block also offers a free e-file edition. To use theirs, your adjusted gross income has to be $64,000 or less and you have to be between the ages of 17 and 50, or qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can also transfer all of your data, much like Turbotax, if you decide you want to upgrade your account because your tax filing becomes more complicated. H&R Block also offers free audit support.
Try Tax Act if your returns are simple or Tax Slayer if your returns are complicated. Each service offers free file return for state and federal taxes. You have to have an adjusted gross income of $52,000 or less and be under the age of 56, or are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Each service offers other versions that cost a bit more money, but neither are more than $50.00.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking tax payers who need assistance preparing their tax returns. In order to sign up you’ll need to go to their website and find a VITA site near you. This is not an e-file situation, but may take up a good amount of your time.
Finally, you can always file your taxes for free with the IRS. The problem with this is that you cannot prepare or file your state return through the IRS, they only do federal level taxes. This makes it a bit of a hassle, because essentially you’ll have to do two separate filings. The IRS has a list on their site of 12 e-file vendors they approve, which may make things a bit easier. In order to file for free using Free file fillable forms with the IRS, your income must be above $64,000. If your income is under $64,000 you’ll need to use Free File Software. Free file fillable forms are essentially just e-forms, which means they do not walk you through the fill out process, and can be time consuming. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for the cheapest option, this is it.