If you are going to do your taxes yourself, (and I can think of a lot of reasons why you should not!) why pay for tax preparation software? There are a number of online sites that will allow you to prepare and efile your federal tax return for free…if you meet certain criteria.
Side note:If you don’t qualify for free tax preparation, and you don’t want to pay me to do your taxes, at least click on the link below to receive both Turbo Tax and Quicken for as little as $30! This offer is good until April 15.
Now back to doing it for free.
If your gross income for 2007 is under $54,000, you may qualify to have your taxes filed for free with a number of different online tax preparation websites. If you need a state tax return done, most of the sites will include state tax preparation for a small fee. All sites include free e-file.
I will highlight a few of them here, but you can see the whole list at the IRS website. It is important to note, I am not providing links to the companies, because to get the best free file deal you need to access them through the IRS website. Going directly to the company website may cost you money!
A few of the big name companies are there, including Turbo Tax, Liberty Tax Service, and H&R Block’s Tax Cut. Names familiar to professional tax preparers include Tax Act and Tax Slayer, and FileYourTaxes.com.
In addition to free filing of your federal return, Liberty Tax Service offers state return filing for $9.95 each. If you don’t qualify for the free file, the federal return is also just $9.95
Turbo Tax is a little more restrictive, with free Federal Tax Preparation for only those with incomes below $30,000 or Active Duty military. They do offer free state filing for some states. If your state is one they don’t do for free, the cost is $9.95. They have a variety of options for those that don’t qualify for free filing starting at $14.95.
The H&R Block free tax site offers interview only service. To include a state return is $29.95.
In some of the lesser known companies there are some good deals. Online taxes has state returns for just $7.95. If you don’t qualify for the free file Federal taxes are also just $7.95. They also offer free telephone support.
Tax$imple is also a good deal with $7.95 state returns and if you don’t qualify for the free file the federal return is just $9.95.
Why are companies offering free filing? In addition to being listed on the IRS website, they are hopeing to sell you “value added services”. Often the free filing versions are very stripped down models of their paid filing products. They hope that once they get you started on your tax return you might decide to pay for some extra services.
Research the companies carefully to choose the firm that is best for you. Note that some companies may have slowdowns during high traffic times, particularly in early February and April. Don’t wait until the last minute to file your return. Chances are good that all these sites will have heavy loads on April 15. You don’t want to be in the middle of preparing your taxes when their servers go down! Make sure to make a copy of your tax return, and keep a backup on your computer.
Would you like to have your tax returns double checked? If you prepared your returns yourself, or even if you had them prepared for you, get a second opinion. I will review your tax return for errors, and offer tax saving advice for future returns starting at just $29.95. Your information is completely confidential and will never be used for any purpose other than the services you have requested. For tax return review just email your contact information and your tax return as a PDF attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org . I will get back to you with an exact price for review plus information on how to send payment within 2 business days. Satisfaction guaranteed. For more information on Kathleen please click the About Kathleen tab at the top of the page.