4 Ways to File Your Taxes for Free

by J. Money -

I'm a taxpayer - what are you?

Morning, hustlers!

Anyone already file their taxes and feeling good about it?

Yeah, me neither ;)

But I have started putting all the paperwork in one neat pile, if that counts for anything?! Haha…

The good news though is that there are a handful of *free* places you can file your taxes this year, so before you get into it be sure to check ’em out and see if any match up well for you.

Got them from a press release H&R Block just sent me so they’re a little biased, but a lot of these options are really really good – particularly if you earned less than $66k this year or are in the military!

Hope this helps!

#1. Free way to file if you have a simple set up –> H&R Block’s free online tax filing

This includes a free federal and state return, along with twice as many forms than you’d get with TurboTax’s free product. Also includes the ability to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, deduct student loan interest for new graduates, and 40+ other forms to help take advantage of credits & deductions. But again, this is mainly for people with simpler situations like those with only W-2s and who rent vs. own, etc.

#2. Free way to file if you earned under $66,000! –> MyFreeTaxes.com

This one we showcased here last year and it’s awesome. (And def. not spammy, even though it sounds like it would be!) It’s a partnership with United Way, and so long as your total household income doesn’t exceed $66,000 (AGI) for 2018, you can file federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for FREE. It’s the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit, and is powered by H&R Block’s premium software. You can find my original write up on them here: MyFreeTaxes – A Free Way to File Your Taxes This Year!

(They also have an option for filing taxes in person too through “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance” sites (VITAs), and the locations of these can be found on their site)

#3. Free way to file your federal taxes –> FreeFileAlliance.org

The Free File Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of industry-leading tax software companies partnered with the IRS to help people prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free. Pretty much a database of all the free software and forms you can use all in one main spot, and includes a dozen+ name brand tax companies (TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct, etc).

#4. Free tax prep and filing software for those in the military –> MilitaryOneSource.mil

This is another partnership backed by H&R Block and aimed at the servicemen and women in our country. Here’s a clip directly off their website: “MilTax is a suite of free tax services for the military, including easy-to-use tax preparation and e-filing software, personalized support from tax consultants, and current information about filing taxes in the military. It’s designed to address the realities of military life – including deployments, combat and training pay, housing and rentals and multistate filings”

Oorah!

Let me know if you end up using any of these, or what you think if you’ve tried them before!

I still pay $300+ a year for my accountant to do ours, so that’s always another option as well ;) No shame in hiring out if it makes more sense for you! I also find it helpful having a direct line for advice when a billion and one questions pop up throughout the year too, haha… That alone can be worth the money.

*****

UPDATE: Here’s another option recommended by a reader –> AARP: “FYI, AARP also offers free tax filing for low and moderate income folks. They use trained volunteers, and meet in person at libraries, etc. You have to make an appointment through whichever location you’re using. I have been using them for years. You don’t have to be a senior… they serve all ages with this service.”

UPDATE #2: “For those that can’t file for free, Costco sells discounted turbo tax packages!”

UPDATE #3: There’s more recommendations in the comments now too… Not gonna post them all up here or else we’ll be on update #87 by the end of the day :) Love seeing them all though – thanks guys!!

Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hadley Hodgson January 30, 2019 at 6:48 am

I started freelancing in addition to my full-time job last year, taxes are all sorted (or will be in April) but I still worry I’ll get something wrong. Only because I’ve never done this before and numbers were never my strong point!

Considering hiring an accountant to sort this out for me, we’ll see.

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2 J. Money January 30, 2019 at 7:59 am

I’d ask for referrals from friends and family if you do go that route – that’s how I found mine and I love her :)

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3 Lexi January 30, 2019 at 7:05 am

If you don’t mind seeing a few ads on the webpages you use to file your taxes, Creditkarma.com has 100% free filing for fed and state taxes.

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4 Aaron January 30, 2019 at 7:20 am

I’ve used Credit Karma to file my taxes the last couple years with no issues. This year, in particular, they seem pretty aggressive with the emails reminding me to use them again. I probably will. I usually run through my taxes with pencil/paper and use CK as a check before submitting them. This year, I might (MIGHT) forgo the pencil/paper and just use CK.

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5 J. Money January 30, 2019 at 8:01 am

Excellent feedback – thank you guys! Totally forgot they do that now!

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6 Bryan January 30, 2019 at 7:15 am

Let’s go old-school. I notice a free stack of 1040’s and other forms at the library every time I’m there. All that is required is a pencil and a calculator. Oh, and I guess a 55 cent stamp when you’re ready to file…damn…almost free!

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7 Aaron January 30, 2019 at 7:22 am

Where are you that they still provide the forms at the library? It’s been a few years in Boston that they’ve provided instructions but no forms.

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8 J. Money January 30, 2019 at 8:01 am

You forgot to add a solid 15 hours of your life too ;)

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9 Bonnie January 30, 2019 at 7:28 am

Ahh! Great list…if only you’d posted this yesterday. Paid Turbo Tax for the zillionth year in a row…womp womp.

I’ll know better for next year!

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10 J. Money January 30, 2019 at 8:02 am

Haha – at least you got it over with! That’s worth some good money alone right there ;)

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11 ChuckinCO January 30, 2019 at 8:31 am

Check out the 12 options at the IRS web site https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/

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12 J. Money January 30, 2019 at 9:45 am

Yup! That’s part of The Free File Alliance.

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13 Ladam8518 January 30, 2019 at 10:12 am

I am trying out http://www.freetaxusa.com this year. Federal is free, $12.95 to file a state return.

So far I like it. Only issue I have had is the multiple accounts I need to manage with them (I do my extended family members returns too).

Previously I would use TaxAct, but they have upped their prices.

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14 Sara January 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm

In the past I’ve had issues with problems in both TurboTax and H&R Block not recognizing a tax credit on my state. I used TaxAct a few years with no issues while I could get it through the FreeFile Alliance. Last year I tried Credit Karma but got stuck because I needed to report interest income without a 1099-INT; they told me it couldn’t be done.

I’ve now used FreeTaxUSA for two years and been very happy with it (although I do pay for the $6.99 Deluxe upgrade on federal).

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15 J. Money January 31, 2019 at 5:39 am

Thanks for the info!

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16 Kristin January 30, 2019 at 11:01 am

Last year I used myfreetaxes.com. I ended up going in person, and it worked out well for me. It was a little tricky getting an appointment, you need to call early, and you definitely want to keep your appointment, as the slots fill quickly! There is no rescheduling option, because early on, all the slots get filled.

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17 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Thx for the tip!

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18 Mrs. Money January 30, 2019 at 11:15 am

We have friends that use and love Freetaxusa. They’ve used it for years. I always do TurboTax because they have stored my data over the years. I probably should stop being lazy and try something else.

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19 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:37 pm

That’s how they get you, haha…

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20 Debbie January 30, 2019 at 11:25 am

I already filed both Federal and State taxes thru Credit Karma. Used them last year & all went smoothly. I don’t think Credit Karma has any income requirements and everything is free. CK emailed me the IRS accepted our return & they provide a link you can check on the progress of your return.

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21 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Nice!

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22 Carly January 30, 2019 at 12:27 pm

My husband and I have been using the Military One Source option for 7 years now. It’s great! It has served us well when filing with combat zone tax-free pay, out-of-state moves, etc. The first year we signed up through a tax office that was sponsored on base and they walked us through the program. Now we just login online through H&R Block. Until our taxes seem more complicated than what the program can handle, we’re stickin with it!

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23 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:39 pm

That’s awesome!! That was the one new place I hadn’t heard of before getting the press release and it turned out to be one of my favorites, as a military child myself. Glad it’s been working out so well for you guys!

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24 JoeHx January 30, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I use Free File Fillable Forms (https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/ – that link is from https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers/before-starting-free-file-fillable-forms if the dot-com seems to spammy for ya).

It’s a bit more hand-on – it’s almost the same as filling the forms out by hand, except it does some basic arithmetic. But I like it to be more involved since it makes me understand the tax code better.

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25 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:41 pm

It takes a certain breed to want to go down that path, haha…

I salute you, sir.

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26 Patti February 3, 2019 at 9:05 pm

JoeHx,
I’ve been using freefilefillableforms.com for years now. I’ve been doing my own taxes since I was 16, now I’m 50-something, cough cough. My dad has an accounting degree and started me on the EZ form so it only took a few baby steps down the road to add in home mortgage interest, hubby, kids, child care, etc.
I think if I had a business, rental income, or a complicated financial life, I’d use an accountant. Otherwise it’s pretty simple and straightforward if all of your income is listed on your w-2. Basic math & English. :)

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27 J. Money February 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Impressive!!

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28 Kris January 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm

I’ve been using FreeTaxUSA for my federal and the state(California) website for my state taxes for a while now. Both are free and easy to use. But with Credit Karma and H&R Block offering both fed and state filing, I will look into both of them and see if it’s worth it to switch over. Our taxes isn’t that complicated making a possible switch shouldn’t be difficult.

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29 philip January 30, 2019 at 5:03 pm

Used H&R Block again this year. Used to do their free file but you have to go to deluxe if you have a Health Savings Account which seems like something that is pretty standard and annoyed they charge for that small part.

Oh well, it is cheap though not free.

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30 philip January 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Oh, and submitted and paid (under $100 so didn’t care about waiting till april for the interest) first time I have owed instead of a small refund.

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31 J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Well done! I can never estimate it right and always owe or receive a big chunk, haha… (But at least I always stash money aside just in case it goes one way over the other!)

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32 DNN February 4, 2019 at 6:44 pm

Someone on facebook was saying there’s a legitimate way to increase your Federal return amount while filing your taxes for free. Any pointers on that? :-)

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