Finance — 2 years ago

Tax Season is Coming: Discover the Best Tax Filing Websites

by Garry S.

Turbotax, IRS, Best Tax Filing Websites

Best Websites to File your Taxes

Many people don’t like filing their taxes even if they’re confident about receiving a hefty refund. When you commit to filing your taxes, you commit to using your time and effort to file your taxes and even the best software out there cannot give you immunity against mistakes.

However, filing taxes online is a great way to keep money where it belongs: in your wallet.

1. TurboTax Federal Free Filing Option (Absolute Zero) – TurboTax has a federal free filing option which is popularly known as Absolute Zero. Tax situations which are relatively straightforward are right up turbo taxes alley. Many of the features of the paid versions of TurboTax are included in this free option. Features such as support through live chat, W-2 importing as well as your choice of e-filing or print and mail filing. It also lets you file your first state return for free which is a $36.99 value.

It is an intuitive software with straightforward questions that hold your hand through every step of the filing process. Residents of all 50 states can use it. People who earn more than the $66,000 IRS free file cap all the way to $100,000 in taxable income can use the software.


2. Free Federal (Simply Free) – Many of the niggles of previous versions of TaxSlayer have been ironed out in its latest redesign. The Simply Free plan allows you to file your federal as well as your state taxes for free with no restrictions based on age, income, residency or citizenship. There is a small pile of legitimate online tax prep options which let people file state and federal tax with $0 out of pocket, and this is one of them.

There are a couple of downsides to TaxSlayer’s free plan. The free plan is only for straightforward tax situations aka tax situations appropriate for Form 1040EZ. Phone support is available from TaxSlayer’s nonprofessional customer service team. However, TaxSlayer will put higher paying clients at the front of the line when they call. Also, filers who go through Federal Free Alliance must be younger than 52.

4eSmart Tax-Free Plan – eSmart Tax’s free plan has many of the same features which are available to paying eSmart customers. You can also import a prior year’s tax return from ten other services such as TurboTax and H&R Block.

Similar to the other two already mentioned, eSmart Tax’s free plan works best for people who are in relatively straightforward tax situations. People who qualify for the Earned Income Tax credit and health insurance subsidies such as the Affordable Care Act can also benefit from eSmart Tax’s free plan.


4. FreeTaxUSA Free Edition – It isn’t particularly famous; however, FreeTaxUSA lets you file free federal taxes for tax situations across the entire board aka tax situations of different complexity levels. All major forms and schedules are supported and useful features like prior-year return importing, and storage is supported. Users filing through the Free File Alliance need to be 61 years or younger as well as have an AGI under $51,000.

FreeTaxUSA offers free live support from customer service professionals. Its tax professionals don’t quite tip the scale in their favor when compared to their competitors such as TurboTax and H&R Block. Everyone in the United States can use FreeTaxUSA; however, state returns are free in 20 states with the rest having to pay $12.95 each.

It’s important to know that free filing options aren’t best suited for everyone. Complicated tax situations such as self-employment, owning a business and investment income from multiple sources are usually not worth the upfront savings. Mistakes can easily offset the money you save on your return.


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