There may not be a free lunch anymore, but is there a free tax filing. It seems like everywhere you go these days someone wants to gouge more money out of you…so you can pay more money. And that gets even worse when you have to file past due taxes.
So here are three ways you can file past due taxes for free! Because no one should ever have to pay to pay Uncle Sam back.
- The Old Fashioned Way. There’s nothing like a pencil and paper and calculator sometimes. Sure, doing taxes by hand isn’t something you see every day, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Obviously this method isn’t for everyone–and the more form challenged among us might want to steer clear–but there’s no denying the cheapness of this way to file past due taxes.That said, be careful! When you file past due taxes you need to fill out some special forms, so make sure you pick them up before you invest your time in checking and filling in all those boxes–only to realize you don’t have a critical form. Go to the IRS website and find some guidelines so that you know what you might need first.
- The Pretty Much Free Way. Ok, so this way is less totally free than effectively free, but it still works. In short: most people who have to file past due taxes are actually owed money by the government. Sometimes lots of money. It’s hard to know if you’re going to definitely be one of those people, but chances are, the lower your income, the more likely it is that filing past taxes will net you money from
past returns.So, if you suspect you’re one of those people (and, truthfully, most people who have to file past due taxes are ) than paying someone a (reasonable) rate to do your taxes isn’t such a huge expense anymore–it’s an investment in making sure you get all of your owed money. It’s not completely free, but then, it’s going to literally pay off.
- The Online Way. For starters, a lot of places that let your file past due taxes online fall into the above: someone you pay to help you out when you file your past due taxes because you’re going to be getting thousands back and don’t want to miss out on anything! But there are also a (few) reputable places to go online for free tax filing, if you know where to look. If someone is selling a free service, be careful–it’s definitely smarter to pay a small amount upfront for someone you can trust than someone who will steal your identity without a second thought. But free filing services are out there, as long as you keep your head on your shoulder and don’t get tricked.
Taxes can be the most tedious chore of the year, but they don’t have to be the biggest expense. If you need to file past due taxes. you can do it cheap, easily, and even earn money from it! The important thing is not put off any past taxes you may have to file–the longer you delay, the longer you keep yourself from getting back your money.
Photo via striatic on Flickr.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 3:25 pm and is filed under Tax Tips .