Tax Day is HERE, and whether you’re eagerly anticipating a sizable refund or are dreading a hefty bill, there’s nothing to gain by putting off your tax filing any longer. Here’s a guide to filing your taxes online—including the best services for your buck.
IRS Free File
Your first stop should be to the IRS website. which is thankfully much less opaque and much more navigable than the tax code it covers. Here, you can download and print the various forms and schedules you’ll need to complete and file. As such, this is the least expensive option for filing taxes, costing little more than postage and a few hours of your time. It is also the riskiest. Even if you’re just filing a basic 1040EZ, the
chances of calculating an incorrect sum, failing to enter the correct ID information or attach the proper schedule are very real and could result in an audit if you’re not careful.
That’s a lot of risk for the average taxpayer to bear, which is why the IRS Free File program was created. The program is a free service funded by a public-private partnership between the IRS and commercial tax software companies like TurboTax, H&R Block and others. It’s free for all taxpayers making less than $58,000 annually—that’s nearly 70 percent of the US population, according to IRS figures. To see which preparation apps you qualify for, head over the IRS’s Find Free File software page, or view all 14 Free File partners with their individual restrictions and requirements here.