Free Tax Help and Getting your taxes filed doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re a lower income family, just starting out after college, a senior, military or former military family, there are lots of options for getting your taxes filed for free or for almost nothing. We’re hoping that you’ll check out these three options and be able to save a boodle! We’ve personally used two of the three services, and Steve’s dad was a volunteer with the last one.
Filing your income tax return doesn’t have to be a taxing (or expensive) proposition.
Filing taxes is an annual ritual that most of us look forward to as much as having a root canal . . . although, after having one, we think that filing taxes is a little less stressful.
We’ve helped our kids with this and filed our own taxes a number of ways.
- On Paper and mailed
- On the internet through Turbo Tax
- With a friend at H&R Block
- With an expensive accountant (because we had to file taxes for our business also)
- With a less expensive investment/tax consultant (still because of the business technicalities)
For most wage earners who have relatively simple returns there are four free tax help options for filing your income taxes:
Turbo Tax Online
A couple of years ago we paid a tax professional (a friend of ours) to help us with our taxes. Bill at H&R Block did a great job and got us a maximum refund. It was at that same time that we heard about the FREE with the Federal Free Edition. If you meet certain criteria (lower income, military service or you qualify for the Earned Income Credit) you can use Turbo Tax for free. We ran our numbers through Turbo Tax and got the same result as the paid professional. Since that time we’ve been using Turbo Tax for our own taxes and for our kids too. And the best part is we it’s so thorough that we know we’re doing it right . . . and we know we’re getting the best refund possible.
This is really important to know. If you earn less than $35,000 (or get the Earned Income Credit) you can use the TurboTax website to file your taxes and pay nothing. The program is called Tax Freedom and provides free tax help.
Even if you don’t qualify for the Tax Freedom deal, turbo tax is pretty inexpensive. Normal usage fees are $15 to $30 for Federal Personal Tax Return.
H&R Block – Free Federal Return Filing
We’ve never used H&R Block’s online interface, but our experience several years ago with their representative and their software proved they know what they’re doing and it’s definitely an option that should be researched and considered.
IRS – Free File Resource
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a resource page that lists and links to a number of organizations that offer free tax filing. Check out IRS Free File here.
People of any age can receive free tax help preparing their taxes through the AARP Tax Aide Service. Steve’s dad AJ volunteered with this organization for several years helping people file their taxes for free. Here’s what he wrote, “I have been a volunteer with AARP Tax Aide for a number of years and find it very rewarding.”
Here are some details about AARP Tax-Aide.
AJ continues, “It is a free service supported by more than 30,000 volunteers across the country. It is available to people of all ages with middle and low income, with special attention to those age 60 and older. We prepare tax returns and answer tax questions. To find one of the 10,000 locations near your home, call 1-888-227-7669. AARP Tax-Aide sites are located in places convenient for taxpayers to get to, such as senior centers, libraries, and malls. We can also visit taxpayers in their homes if they are physically unable to visit a site. This program is available from February 1-April 15 each year.”
For more information visit the website – www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.
Filing taxes can be a trying experience, but with all of these free tax help options, it doesn’t have to tax your bank account too much.