Tax season is a stressful time for everyone - no matter how many years you have been filing tax returns, they always seem complicated and stressful. On one hand, you don’t want to make any mistakes, on the other - you want to maximize your tax return. Some people choose to hire an accountant to do their taxes, others buy a tax prep program, but there’s another option - you can actually take advantage of free tax prep software if your income is below a certain level. Once your return is complete - you can file it for free online on the IRS website. The upside of using free tax filing software is obviously that you don’t have to pay any money, but the downside is that these programs are often suitable only for simple tax returns. Here’s our overview of the best free tax filing software:
H&R Block Free Edition - the best free tax software
You may think that TurboTax is your best bet when it comes to free tax prep software, but you’re wrong - H&R Block Free edition program is a much better bet when it comes to the number of features available. First of all, you can use the free version if your gross income is up to 66,000 dollars a year, which is much higher than the TurboTax limit for free filing. This program also allows you to file state taxes for free and import tax information from previous years from other tax programs. You can also claim Earned Income Tax Credit through this software and utilize their customer support.
TurboTax - the easiest to use free tax program
You’ve most certainly heard of TurboTax - it is the most popular and most user-friendly tax preparation software on the market. The main advantage of this program is its easy-to-use interface, but the drawbacks are that you can only file for free if you make less than 34,000 dollars a year, otherwise, you need to upgrade to a paid version. You also need to get a paid version of the software if you want to upload tax information from previous years.
FreeTaxUSA - the best free tax filing for complicated returns
The two free pax prep programs mentioned above work well for simple tax returns, but if your return is more complex than that - don’t worry, simply use FreeTaxUSA. This free software gives you access to hundreds of forms, only a few are not available. You can also pay just under $7 to upgrade to the deluxe option, which gives you access to professional customer assistance, audit help and an unlimited number of amends.
TaxSlayer Simply Free - a simple free tax prep program
The basic free version of TaxSlayer’s income tax program allows you to file a simple tax return, but you can also upgrade to the full Classic version of the program for only $17. With the classic option, you’ll be able to make itemized deductions, use tax credits and claim other income in addition to your W-2 forms.