5 Free Tax Filing Options That Aren’t TurboTax

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Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote to TurboTax parent company Intuit this week, accusing it of “shady business practices.” The letter, co-signed by two members of Congress, said the products were “defrauding American taxpayers into paying for services that should be free.”

TurboTax no longer participates in the IRS Free File program, which Warren’s letter said was supposed to cover 70% of US taxpayers. In 2018, only 3% of taxpayers participated each year. Warren’s solution – the Tax Filing Simplification Act – is far from having the force of law. So what other options are there?

READ MORE: Best Free Tax Software

If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than $73,000, you may be eligible to use one of the following companies that are part of the Free File Alliance. Online tax filing software does the work for you and, in some cases, will also help you file your taxes for free. Each has slightly different requirements, which we’ve summarized below.

1. Tax Law

TaxAct has great reviews online for its relatively easy-to-use software. Be aware that if you don’t qualify for free state tax filing, it will cost you $39.95.

Criteria:

  • Is be 56 years of age or younger and have an AGI of less than $65,000
  • Or be in active military service with an AGI of less than $73,000

According to the TaxAct website, if you qualify, you can also file a free tax return for Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts , Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina and North Dakota. , New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia.

2.ezTaxReturn

With ezTaxReturn, residents of select states can file their federal taxes for free. But be aware that you will have to pay $19.95 for your tax return. It should also be noted that the company may not be ideal if your situation is not straightforward.

Criteria:

  • Have an AGI of $73,000 or less and live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Carolina of the South, Virginia or Wisconsin.

3. FreeTax USA

FreeTaxUSA is unusual in that it offers free federal tax filing for all customers, and also files your state taxes for free if you meet the requirements. If you don’t qualify, the state filing costs $14.99.

To qualify for the free state tax return, you must:

  • Is have an AGI of less than $41,000
  • Or be in active military service with an AGI of less than $73,000

4. Tax Killer

TaxSlayer offers free federal tax filings for those with simple tax filings. If you are not eligible for free filing, the basic cost to file a federal return is $29.95 and each state return is $39.95.

Criteria:

  • Is have an AGI of $39,000 or less
  • Or be eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Or be in active military service with an AGI of less than $73,000

If you qualify for free federal filing with TaxSlayer, you can also file your state tax return for free in the following states: Arkansas, Arizona, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota , Missouri. , Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia.

5. Taxes online

Taxes Online has no age or state restrictions on its electronic federal tax return. It also offers to file your federal and state tax returns at the same time. State filing costs $9.95 if you don’t qualify for free filing.

Criteria:

  • Is have an AGI between $16,000 and $73,000
  • Or be in active military service with an AGI of less than $73,000

At the end of the line

The questions raised by Senator Warren about TurboTax could apply to many so-called free tax services. For example, free products may have hidden fees or additional charges for things like additional customer service. Several sites state in fine print that you must follow the IRS Free File link to qualify. And the free deposit options often only work for those with simple deposits.

Some of the free sites aren’t as user-friendly as they could be, so it’s a good idea to look at a few options before settling on one. When you file, check the information you enter carefully and pay attention to the state’s filing options. Tax filing is stressful enough without being hit with additional fees just as you reach the final stage.

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