Plenty Of Options Available To File Taxes Online For Free
Procrastinators take note. Even though today is April 15 — the traditional tax deadline — you have two days left to file your taxes.
The deadline isn’t today because it’s Sunday and the IRS doesn’t work weekends. And tomorrow is Emancipation Day, the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Washington, D.C. The tax man doesn’t work when the capital is closed either.
If your taxes are complex and you haven’t done them yet, you should file for an extension by Tuesday. If your taxes are simple, you can do them online, probably in less than an hour, for free. By simple, I mean your income isn’t too high, and it comes from employers that provide you with W2s and from interest from bank accounts.
There are numerous websites that you can use to file online for free. Most of them have similar guidelines that have to be met in order to file with no charges:
The previously mentioned simple tax situation is the first one.
You need to file a personal return, or are married and filing jointly.
Business returns cannot be filed for free on most sites.
Your computer’s operating system and web browser need to be up to date.
You need to have all of your records and paperwork in order and in front of you.
You’ll need a printer if you’re going to do your taxes online but mail them in.
Some sites also let you do your state taxes, pulling most of the information from your federal return. There may be a charge for filing the state forms, however. Many sites also try to upsell you features such as audit insurance or online tax advice. You also can purchase more advanced filing options from most sites if your tax situation is complex, your income higher or you want to file a business return.
Here are 10 free filing sites you might want to look at:
irs.gov: Select “free file” on the home page
freetax.com: This site claims to be free for all tax situations, federal and state
Each site has different requirements and offerings, so be sure to review the one you choose for compatibility with your situation before you start your taxes.
Kevin O’Neill is a staff artist for The Times-Tribune. Share your favorite websites and apps with him at email@example.com.