ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

E-file Your Federal Income Tax Return for Free This Year

Updated on January 27, 2012

Tax season can almost seem like a second Christmas for many people, or at least a way to pay what they still owe on last Christmas. If you are like the majority of American taxpayers, you probably paid too much in taxes last year and are entitled to receive a refund from the IRS. If you are like me, you don’t have the patience to wait for the IRS to mail out a check. You want it now! Who could blame you? The way the government is spending money lately, they may not want to mail it any time soon. E-filing and electronic refund has become the most popular way to file taxes, but how much does it cost? Let’s look at a few income tax e-file programs that are completely free.

Free File
Free File

Free File

Free File is a free income tax filing solution directly from the IRS. Several commercial tax software companies have partnered with the IRS to offer their tax preparation software through what is known as the Free File Alliance. The only way to access these free programs is by going to IRS.gov.

The current eligibility requirement for using Free File is having an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less. In addition, each partnering company has their own requirements for eligibility, so a user may only qualify to use certain companies. Each Free File company is also required to provide customer support to the taxpayer through their company website.

 With Free File, electronic refunds are generally processed in about three weeks. There is also an online tool to check the status of refunds. It’s easy to get started. Just go to IRS.gov, choose a company from the list of providers and start filling out your tax information.

FreeTaxUSA
FreeTaxUSA | Source

FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA is a web-based application for doing federal and state income taxes. A taxpayer can file a federal return for free, or get a few extra features for a small fee. As a web application, it is convenient to use because you can access your account from any computer without the hassle of having to download and install anything. FreeTaxUSA also offers free customer support for their clients.

 If you want to get a jump on your taxes, but think you may have to do an amended return, you may want to opt for their Deluxe Edition tax preparation package which is $5.95. Then you will be able to do unlimited amendments. Otherwise, the free edition should be fine for most filers.

FreeTaxUSA claims that most customers can see returns within 8 days after filing for an electronic return and within three weeks for a mailed check from the IRS. Taxpayers can also login to their TaxFreeUSA account to get the status of their income tax return. To get started, visit TaxFreeUSA.com and register an account.

TaxACT
TaxACT | Source

TaxACT

TaxACT is one of the oldest income tax e-file providers in the country. They have been around since 1998 and have helped pioneer the e-filing experience. TaxACT boasts the most complete free income tax filing solution in America. Taxpayers have the option of completing their income tax return through a web-based interface, or by downloading or ordering the TaxACT software and installing on their computer and filing from home.

Filers are limited to one free e-file and additional federal returns are $7.95 each. TaxACT also offers some very comprehensive customer support and is committed to filing income taxes for their clients as fast as possible. As with the previously mentioned company, they claim that most returns can be received within 8 days of filing.

TaxACT has an Answer Center for personalized guidance, streamlined navigation and more tools aimed at saving the taxpayer time when preparing their taxes. Getting started is a s easy as going to TaxACT.com, opening an account and filling out the appropriate information online.

Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax | Source

Turbo Tax

Turbo Tax offers free federal income tax filing for returns that are not complex, and can be completed by the average user without any problem. If you are looking to itemize deductions, or have some interesting tax calculations, then the Turbo Tax Free Edition may not be for you. The Free Edition also does not cover tax schedules C, D, E, and F which may be required for those who have investment interests.

Turbo Tax claims that most clients receiving a refund will see their return within 8 days if they choose direct deposit. They even offer an option to have your refund deposited to a reloadable Visa prepaid debit card that can be used wherever Visa is accepted.

Technical support is provided via live chat or by other users within the Turbo Tax community available through their website. If you are unsure if your tax situation is right for the Free Edition, you can still begin a return and the program will alert you if an upgrade would be required to complete the return. To get started with Turbo Tax visit turbotax.intuit.com, then select the Free Edition.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)