5 of the Cheapest & Best Ways to E-File your Taxes
Efiling? Try These 5 Free Options
I’ve always used paid Turbotax & H&R Block electronic and software products to do my own taxes, however, there are some great free and much cheaper options available for those who have relatively simple returns and a low enough adjusted gross income (less than $57,000). 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 15 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 ($57,000 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’ll cost you $27.95. 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, like Turbotax, also costs $27.95, if you would like to add the state e-file. H&R Block offers free audit support. I used H&R last year and really like it. They are offering 25% off their online editions right now. To use it, your Adjusted Gross Income must be $57,000 or less and you must be age 52 or less.
TaxAct: Offers a free-file, and $17.95 for the two combined – cheaper than H&R Block and Turbotax – however, they are not as reputable. Eligibility requires your adjusted gross income be $51,000 or less and your age be between 18 and 57.
TaxSlayer: Offers free federal and $17.95 state e-file for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $30,000. The cheapest selection, if you qualify, but not as well renowned of a name as the other options, so tread lightly with this one is.
There are no vendors that offer free-file to those with adjusted gross income over $57,000. 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)