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10 Free IRS-Approved Ways to Quickly (and Easily) File Taxes

By
Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose covers financial literacy for the educational arm of OppLoans. Her work focuses on providing hands-on resources for high school and college-age students in addition to their parents and educators.
Updated on March 18, 2021
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Taxes are due July 15. Don’t wait!

For those who are new to doing taxes, all the forms and numbers can feel overwhelming. But with the federal deadline coming up on July 15, there’s no more time to put it off.

Fortunately, many people are eligible for free tax preparation services — including a majority of young people who have simple taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists free online services available to those who need to file federal and state taxes. The options include TurboTax and H&R Block, among others. The best part? Each site is free — as long as you meet eligibility requirements.

What are you waiting for? Here are 10 free services recommended by the IRS to complete your taxes quickly, easily, and accurately.

No. 1: Free 1040 Tax Return

The mission of Free Tax Return.com is to make taxes simple. The company provides an online e-file service for fast, convenient, and hassle-free tax returns. Complete your return and securely file it with the IRS.

Federal

In order to file a free federal return, you must be 70 years old or younger. Your adjusted gross income must be $69,000 or less and you must reside in a qualifying state. You may alternatively be an active or reserve military with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less. 

State

To file a free state return, you must qualify for the free federal return and file in Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, or Utah. 

Cost

If you do not qualify for a free federal return, it will cost $39.95. If you do not qualify for a free state return, it will cost $19.95.

No. 2: 1040NOW

1040NOW is a free file member in partnership with the IRS. The company has an extensive library of tax forms, including itemized deductions, interest and dividend incomes, and more.

Federal 

To file a free federal return, your adjusted gross income must be $69,000 or less. You must live in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, or West Virginia. 

Or your adjusted gross income must be $68,000 or less and you must live in the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, or the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C).

Those who are active military may have an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less.

State 

To qualify for a free state return, you must qualify for a free federal return and live in a supported state. Please check the website for state eligibility.

Cost

If you don’t qualify for free filing, the federal return will cost $19.95 and the state return will cost $17.95.

No. 3: ezTaxReturn.com

ezTaxReturn provides a popular tax filing software. The site has a clean user interface that prioritizes customer experience when filing taxes.

Federal 

File your federal return for free if you meet eligibility requirements. You must have an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less and live in a qualifying state. Please check the website for state eligibility.

State 

exTaxReturn doesn’t provide free state tax preparation. To file for a fee, you must live in a qualifying state. Please check the website for state eligibility.

Cost

If you don’t qualify for the free federal tax return, the service will cost $29.95. There isn’t a free state tax return, so it will cost $19.95.

No. 4: FileYourTaxes.com

This company was one of the first online tax filing services. It’s trusted services are on par with costly filing products. Use the free online filing services to file taxes quickly and easily.

Federal 

You are eligible for free federal filing if you are 65 years old or younger and your adjusted gross income is at least $9,000 but doesn’t exceed $69,000. You are also eligible if you are active-duty military and your income is under $69,000.

State 

State returns are free for those who meet federal eligibility and reside in Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, or Vermont.

Cost

If you don’t qualify, federal returns cost $44.75 and state returns cost $37.95.

No. 5: FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA is a free tax filing service that allows eligible users to prepare federal and state income taxes for free. As an authorized IRS e-file provider, the company has filed more than 43 million tax returns for Americans.

Federal 

To be eligible for a free federal return, your adjusted gross income must not exceed $36,000 or you must be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Alternatively, you may be active military and have an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less.

State 

State filing is free if you qualify for the free federal offer and reside in a qualifying state. Please check the website for state eligibility.

Cost

If you don’t qualify, federal and state filing range from $0 to $14.99.

No. 6: H&R Block

Feel comfortable filing your taxes online by using H&R Block. It is a well-established tax company that offers a range of tax services, including e-file options.

Federal 

Federal filing is free if your adjusted gross income doesn’t exceed $69,000 and you are between 17 and 51 years old. Or you must be eligible for the EITC. Or you must be active military with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less.

State 

If you qualify for the free federal tax return then you can file a state return at no cost. All states are free to file.

Cost

If you don’t qualify for a free return, you must pay $49.99 to file a federal return and $36.99 to file each state return.

No. 7: OLT.com

This company offers both free federal and state returns to Americans who meet eligibility requirements. They provide options to U.S. citizens and resident aliens with a foreign address.

Federal 

You are eligible for a free federal return if your adjusted gross income is between $14,000 and $69,000. You may be any age and reside in any state. Further, active-duty military are eligible if their adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less.

State

If you are eligible for free federal filing, then you are eligible for free state filing.

Cost

If you don’t qualify, your federal return is still free, but each state tax return will cost $9.95.

No. 8: TaxAct

TaxAct offers a step-by-step guide to complete federal and state tax returns. Confused? Use the free phone support to help you answer any tax questions. The trusted company offers online tax software to individuals, companies, and professionals. 

Federal 

To qualify for free federal tax filing, your adjusted gross income must not exceed $59,000 and you must be 56 years old or younger. Or you may be eligible for EITC. Or you are active-duty military and your adjusted gross income doesn’t exceed $69,000.

State 

You are eligible for a free state return if you qualify for a federal return. The offer is valid in all states.

Cost

If you don’t qualify for the free offer, the federal return can cost up to $109.95 and the state return can cost up to $54.95.

No. 9: TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer is available for desktop, tablet, and mobile. The navigation contains simple menus and forms, making it a great option for anyone. E-file your federal and state tax return from anywhere right now.

Federal 

To file a federal return at no cost, you must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien who is 51 years old or younger and with an adjusted gross income that doesn’t exceed $69,000. Alternatively, you may file for free if you are eligible for the EITC or if you are active military with an income that doesn’t exceed $69,000.

State 

If you are eligible for the free federal offer and reside in a qualifying state you can file a free state return. Please check the website for state eligibility.

Cost

For those who don’t qualify the price to file a federal tax return is $17 and a state tax return is $34.

No. 10: TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the best-selling online tax preparation services. The IRS free-file program via TurboTax allows low- to moderate-income filers to conveniently prepare and file their taxes at no cost.

Federal 

To file a free federal return your adjusted gross income must be $36,000 or less. Or you must qualify for the EITC. Or you must be active-duty military with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less. 

State 

TurboTax offers free state filing if you qualify for free federal filing.

Cost

If you don’t qualify, TurboTax costs $60 for federal returns and $45 for state returns.

Bottom Line

The deadline to file and pay federal taxes is July 15 — but there’s still time. Use one of the IRS-approved free filing options to start today.

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