5 of the Cheapest & Best Ways to E-File your Taxes
E-filing? Try These 5 Free Options
I’ve always used paid Turbotax & H&R Block electronic and software products to do my own taxes. They are my two recommended overall tax programs and they even have free and much cheaper options available for those who have relatively simple returns and a low enough adjusted gross income. After researching the marketplace, here are the five options that topped my list if your goal is to have the cheapest e-file tax return.
FreeFile: You can fill out forms online through the IRS website fillable forms website and then e-file. The only problem with this route is that you can’t prepare or submit your state return through the IRS. This can be a bit of a pain if you have to go elsewhere to do your state return (and all the data that you’ve already entered does not transfer with you). For state returns, the IRS lists 14 approved e-file vendors to choose from, many of whom offer free e-filing on federal returns. I’ll highlight a few of the best offers below.
Turbotax: Offers a free e-file edition for those with and adjusted income of $31,000 or less ($60,000 or less for active military), or to those who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you choose to file a state e-file, it could be free, depending on your state. If you choose to upgrade to another version, your data is transferred.
H&R Block: Also offers a free-file edition. Free e-file edition costs $14.99 (some states are free) if you would like to add the state e-file. To use their free edition, your Adjusted Gross Income must be $53,500 or less and you must be age 53 or less. H&R Block offers free audit support. I used H&R last year and really like it. They are offering 15% off their online editions right now.
TaxAct: Offers a free-file, and from free to $9.99 for federal and state combined – however, they are not as reputable as Turbotax and H&R Block. Eligibility requires your adjusted gross income be $52,000 or less and your age be between 18 and 58.
TaxSlayer: Offers free federal and $23.90 state e-file for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $33,000 ($60,000 or less for active duty military).
OLT Online Taxes: May be the cheapest option at $0 for a state efile if you qualify (income between $13,000 and $60,000), but not a well known name compared to the other options listed here.
There are no vendors that offer free-file to those with adjusted gross income over $60,000. If your income is higher and/or you have a complicated return, I’d recommend going with the most appropriate paid Turbotax or H&R Block editions.
- What’s the cheapest way that you’ve been able to file your taxes, while getting the best return?
- Have you done your taxes yet?
- How are you filing your taxes this year? (take the poll)