Now that the IRS is ready to start receiving electronically filed tax returns it’s time to decide what platform to use. Whether you’re familiar with TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxAct the freefile programs allows you to explore many other platforms to take care of your taxes.
FreeFile is the IRS’s partnership with numerous tax software companies to offer free federal tax return submission. This year all individuals who earned less than $60,000 in 2014 qualify to efile federal tax returns for free. And for the residents of states with no personal income tax this means that filing tax return is completely free of charge. Residents of all other states need to be aware on expense resulting from filing state income taxes and those fees will differ depending which company’s software you’re using.
To get started visit freefile website and chose a product you want to use. Here is the list of companies offering a freefile software:
- H&R Block’s Free File
- TurboTax All Free
- eSmartTax by Liberty Tax Service
- Tax Simple
- Online taxes at OTL.com
- Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
Every company offers something different and maximum income amount to file for free differ from one to another. You can learn more details on each company’s website, but a snapshot will be displayed shortly after getting started. You should browse each website to get familiar with all the costs of filing state faxes and get a feel for the user interface.
Alternatively, have IRS help you select the right product for you with Help Me Find Free File Software. Answer some questions i.e. your age, income, or eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit. A similar page will be displayed:
This is a narrowed down list of products you qualify for to file taxes for free. From this point on you will be directed to a different website and continue the filing process with the company you selected. If this is your first time filing taxes on your own, know that regardless of which product you select, it will store your information making filing taxes a bit faster next time around (assuming you decide to use their service again).
What documents do I need to freefile?
To proceed with filing your taxes electronically you will need the following information and documents:
- email address
- copy of 2013 tax return
- valid social security number
- documents about your income such as W2, 1099-INT/G/DIV, unemployment compensation, social security benefits
- receipts to support any deductions you claim
Benefits of freefile
Taxes filed electronically contain fewer errors than those filed on paper. Every software runs an error check and guarantees your tax return is correct. Deciding to have your tax refund deposited in your bank account shortens the overall time in the whole process and you can have the refund in as little as 21 days. If you’re looking to get your refund and get a deal in it, check out this Gift Card Cash-Back program. Last by not least you can track your refund status here. The IRS updates this information on daily basis and it also applies to paper-filed tax returns. The difference is that you can start receiving updates on electronically filed taxes within 24 hours from the time the IRS receives your return vs. 4 weeks after you mail a paper return.