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11 options for filing tax returns for free


Want to file your taxes for free? Depending on how much money you make and other factors, you might have several choices for free filing online or in-person with volunteer help.

Here is a quick list of free tax filing providers:

1. IRS FreeFile - Depending on income, you can use one of two options. If you make less than $57,000 adjusted gross income (AGI), the IRS FreeFile site will help match you to a company that will allow you to use its software for free to file your federal taxes. However, depending on the company, there might be a charge to file state taxes, or state tax filing might not be offered. Or, anyone of any income level can use Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of paper IRS tax forms, to file federal taxes. 

2. The VITA Program and TCE Program - The Vita Program offers free in-person tax help for taxpayers who make $51,000 or less per year. The TCE Program offers volunteer help to taxpayers 60 and older, and specializes in pension, retirement and other senior tax issues. Most TCE sites are operated by AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.

3. - Taxpayers with a combined income of $57,000 or less in 2012 can use, offered through a partnership between the Walmart Foundation, Goodwill Industries, the National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide. The service offers free online filing for federal and state taxes as well as in-person service at local tax help centers.

4. TurboTax - If you earn $31,000 or less in adjusted gross income or you are on active military duty and earn no more than $57,000 AGI, or you get the Earned Income Credit, you can file federal taxes using TurboTax Freedom Edition for free. In 23 states, you might be able to file state taxes for free, but if you live elsewhere it costs $14.99 payable by credit card. 

5. FreeTaxUSA - At, anyone can file a federal return online for free, but filing a state return costs $9.95. There are no restrictions on income or age to use the service.

6. TaxHawk - Anyone can file federal income taxes for free using TaxHawk. Taxpayers who make less than $20,000 in adjusted gross income can file state taxes for free, while others pay $12.95 to file state taxes.

7. - This service provides free simple federal return filing for anyone, and state filing for $14.95.

8. - If you qualify to use form 1040EZ, you can use TaxSlayer at no cost to file your federal returns. State filing costs $17.90.

9. eSmart Tax - Use Liberty Tax Service to file a basic federal return for free or a state return for $19.95.

10. H&R Block At Home Free Edition - H&R Block offers free federal tax filing, and there is a fee of $27.95 to file a state return. 

11. - This site offers free federal filing for simple tax situations, including single or married taxpayers under 65 with no dependents, and taxable income under $100,000. There is a charge of $29.95 to file state taxes.

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Published: February 7, 2013

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