The last thing most Americans want to do each year is file their taxes, let alone pay a fee in order to do so. However, taxpayers have several different options they can pursue to file their taxes for free. If you’re curious about whether you’re eligible for free filing and want to learn how to get started, we’ve got you covered.
How to file taxes for free
The IRS Free File Program is a partnership between the IRS and several private tax preparation and software industries. IRS Free File allows certain eligible Americans to file their federal income taxes online for free.
IRS Free File allows you to file your taxes in one of two ways:
1. File using one of the online tax preparation companies that partners with the IRS to provide this service. If you’re eligible, these companies will prepare and file your taxes for free.
2. Use Free File Fillable Forms, a service which will require you to know how to prepare your own tax return.A
Who qualifies for each IRS Free File option?
IRS Free File Fillable Forms are available to all American taxpayers until a specified date (learn more on the IRS website). These are free electronic forms that you fill out and file yourself, although the IRS does provide limited guidance and calculations to help you. However, Free File Fillable Forms do not allow you to pay your state taxes for free, only your federal taxes.B
If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is under $69,000 a year, you are eligible to file your taxes on an IRS partner site. These services give you guided preparation on filing your taxes, only requiring you to answer a few questions while the online service does the rest. There are several tax preparation companies that you can choose from, some of which also offer the option to file your state taxes for free in addition to your federal taxes.
What tax preparation companies can you choose from to file taxes for free?
IRS Free File partners with 10 tax preparation companies to provide you with a range of options. Each offer has its own requirements and unique services. Some offers allow for free federal tax filing as well as free state tax filing, others allow active military members to be eligible, and some offers require you to be below a certain age in order to be eligible.C
Online Taxes at OLT.com provides free federal and state tax filing to all ages who earn an AGI of between $14,000 and $69,000. FreeTaxUSA, however, requires you to either earn an AGI of less than $36,000 a year or to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in order to be eligible. It also allows free state tax filing only for 22 states and Washington, DC.
IRS Free File makes it easier for millions of Americans to pay their taxes without having to shoulder the burden of additional filing fees. Check out their website to learn more about your options as well as what information or income statements you’ll need to provide.
Think you need professional help this year to file your taxes? Check out our post to help you decide if you should do your taxes yourself or hire a tax professional.