How to File Your Taxes Online for Free

By Nicki Howell

  • Overview

    Completing tax returns used to include stacks of paperwork, manual calculations, and submitting items the old fashioned way--through snail mail. But with the Internet revolution, you can now easily complete your taxes online. Plus, many online tax companies will file your federal return at no cost. But to file your taxes at no cost, it's helpful to have a few resources. Here's how to file your taxes online for free.
    • Step 1

      File your taxes online for free with the IRS. Your federal return can be filed directly online by visiting the IRS website (see Resources) and completing the online forms. Tax returns can be submitted online as early as Jan. 16.
    • Step 2

      File your taxes using TaxAct. Filing your federal return is free and you will get access to free tax deduction tools. If you choose to file your state return, there is a fee of $13.95.

    • Step 3

      File your taxes using H&R Block's online software. Individuals can file free federal returns as long as they are less then 50 years old and earn less than $54,000 a year. However, filing your state return will cost you $15 or more depending on the tax package you choose.
    • Step 4

      File your taxes using TurboTax's Federal Free Edition. You can quickly file your 1040EZ online at no cost. You can also purchase upgrades, such as having a professional review your tax return to look for possible errors or audit flags.
    • Step 5

      Check out TaxBrain's online software. They offer a free online tool that assesses your unique circumstances and makes a recommendation for which tax forms are needed. Plus, you can file your federal return at no cost, and store all previous tax returns online.
  • Skill: Moderate
  • Tip: File your state return for free. Online tax companies will charge a fee for filing your state return, so check with your state's department of revenue for free online filing tools.
  • Warning:
  • Consider having an accountant or tax professional review your return. Many online companies offer review services as low as $50, which can be well worth the price for a complicated return.

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