File your federal income tax return electronically (e-file) to save yourself time and get your tax refund sooner. The Internal Revenue Service and tax preparation services have agreements where you might be eligible to e-file taxes for free.
Most taxpayers can e-file taxes for free if they don’t itemize deductions and make less than $72,000 for the 2021 tax season. In this article, we will go over what different tax preparation services want from taxpayers to free file taxes and answer some of the frequently asked questions about e-filing and free filing in general.
Here is what the tax preparation services that work with the IRS require you to file taxes electronically for free.
- 1 Free File Offers by Tax Preparation Services
- 2 TurboTax IRS Free File Program
- 3 TaxAct Free File Edition
- 4 OLT – OnLine Taxes
- 5 ezTaxReturn
- 6 1040 NOW
- 7 FileYourTaxes
- 8 Free1040TaxReturn
- 9 Other options to e-file taxes
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Free File Offers by Tax Preparation Services
TurboTax IRS Free File Program
TurboTax offers free filing for taxpayers with an AGI of $39,000 or less. You can file your state income tax return for free if you qualify and claim the earned income tax credit.
TaxAct Free File Edition
TaxAct offers free filing for taxpayers with an AGI of $63,000 or less. You must be 56 or younger to file taxes through TaxAct, but if you’re eligible for the earned income tax credit, the age limit doesn’t apply. Taxpayers eligible for the free file with TaxAct can also file state income tax returns.
OLT – OnLine Taxes
OLT.com allows taxpayers with AGI between $16,000 and $72,000 to file taxes electronically for free. You can claim the earned income tax credit if you’re eligible for filing based on the AGI requirement, and get a free state income tax return.
ezTaxReturn free file is only available in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you’re living other than these states, you aren’t eligible for free filing federal income tax returns. In addition to where you live, your AGI must be less than $72,000 and can claim the earned income tax credit. Unfortunately, ezTaxReturn doesn’t come with a free state income tax return.
1040 NOW offers free tax filing for taxpayers with an AGI of $71,000 or less. It allows taxpayers to claim the earned income tax credit. But, you cannot file taxes for free if you’re living in Alaska, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming. 1040NOW also doesn’t offer a free state income tax return.
FileYourTaxes.com offers free filing for taxpayers in any state with an AGI between $9.500 and $72,000. You must be 65 or younger though. It comes with earned income tax credit with a free state for taxpayers in Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, and Vermont.
Free1040TaxReturn.com allows taxpayers with an AGI of $72,000 or less to file a tax return free and take the earned income tax credit. But, if you’re living in either one of the following states, you don’t get a free return.
Alaska, DC, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
Other options to e-file taxes
If you don’t meet the free filing criteria of the above tax preparation services, you can still file taxes using the Free File Fillable Forms. To file taxes through here, you will need to know everything that goes into your tax return as you won’t be assisted in any way.
Through Free File Fillable Forms, you can file, sign, and save your tax return but will only offer basic calculation, tax return filing for the current year, and submitting tax return. After you file and submit your tax return to the IRS, you won’t be able to make any corrections. So you will have to amend your tax return.
Since the guidance you get through Free File Fillable Forms is next to none, it makes your return a lot more prone to errors compared to what tax preparation services offer. For this reason, we highly suggest paying for a tax preparation service to file your tax return electronically unless you know everything about your tax return.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Form 1040-EZ?
Form 1040-EZ—Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents was the simplified tax return used by singles and joint filers without children. After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it has been removed as the tax code was made very simple. Instead of Form 1040-EZ, all taxpayers now need to use Form 1040.
Can I fill out Form 1040 online for free?
Yes, free filing a tax return (Form 1040) is accessible for most taxpayers, but you must meet the criteria set by the IRS partners for free filing. It’s also possible to e-file taxes online for free using Free File Fillable Forms. It might take a bit of knowledge on taxes, but can be done easily.
I don’t qualify for any free file options, how can I file taxes?
Taxpayers who don’t qualify for free filing options can file taxes through free file options might have to pay for filing taxes. Even if you pay for filing your tax return, it’s a lot safer to e-file taxes as filing a paper return or using the Free File Fillable Forms may result in errors on your end. So unless you know every adjustment, deduction, and credit you will claim and use the appropriate tax forms, consider e-filing taxes.
How much does it cost to file taxes online?
Filing a tax return electronically with a tax preparation service doesn’t cost anything for most taxpayers, but if you’re not eligible for a free file, you must pay. It costs between $50 and $100 for most tax returns. The tax preparation services charge differently depending on your income and what goes into your tax return, but it shouldn’t exceed $100 unless you’re self-employed.