It’s Tax Time! Four Easy ways to File for Free or Cheap

It’s that time of year where we all get out our calculators, pens, and paper and hope for a return rather than having to pay out more money!  Tax time can be stressful, but there are ways to make it easier.  One of these ways is to skip the pen and paper all together and do it yourself online.  Here are three ways you can file your taxes for free or cheap:

If your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less then you qualify for free electronic filing through the IRS site.  Just go to the Free File section of the IRS site and follow the steps to find a company that you are comfortable with.  You can choose a tax company yourself or have the follow a step by step IRS program to find one that works for you.

Turbo Tax is one of the more well known tax programs.  They include some great bonuses (like its deductible, which helps you value and store your charity donations to be sent straight to your tax return).  Turbo Tax says that they uncover more than 350 different deductions so if you can deduct expenses to save yourself some money then Turbo Tax might be for you.  Right now Turbo Tax is 25% off at Amazon, making the basic version only $45.

I included this one because tax slayer is one of my favorite tax programs.  I have been using it for the last 6 years.  They offer free filing if your income is less than $57,000 AND you are younger than 25, older than 65, active military, or you qualify for the earned income credit.  If you do not fit in one of those categories then it costs $9.95 for the federal and $4.95 for as many state returns that you need (total $14.90).  They have step by step questions to walk you through filling out the tax return and an audit meter to tell you how likely it is that you will be audited.

H and R Block
Another popular program is H and R Block.  It sounds like this one is pretty similar to the other two, but it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles in it’s basic program.  However, the basic program is only $14.99!

If you e-file then you should get your return much faster (about 8 days rather than 4-8 weeks).  Also, you are less likely (supposedly) to get audited since there should not be any math mistakes.

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