Until last year, doing my taxes was always a time-consuming, expensive, and annoying experience.
I was filing my taxes by hand and mailing them via snail mail.
Why was I putting myself through that hell?
Well, because all the “free” online tax filing software wanted me to pay close to $20 to file my state returns. As someone with multiple state returns – NO THANK YOU.
Luckily, last year, I made a discovery that changed my tax seasons forever:
I found a non-profit that provides free tax filing for low income individuals and families!
At first, I worried I wouldn’t qualify since I didn’t consider myself “low income”. But I soon found out that low income means $66,000 and lower household income. Not exactly what I would consider low income, but hey, the more people that can file their taxes for free the better.
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How to File Taxes Online for Free
There are lots of options to file your taxes for free if you’re low income.
In fact, the IRS itself has partnered with many of the large online tax filing software companies to offer you free federal tax return filings. Some of their offers even include free state tax filing. But, those are rare and usually you have to qualify for them in some unusual way.
Here’s the IRS Free File Software Options. Before just clicking on the first option on that site, review all the offers to make sure you qualify and find the best option for YOU.
Here’s the secret:
the best online tax filing software for low income (less than $66,000) households is MyFreeTaxes.com.
Funnily enough, the IRS doesn’t even mention it on the their Free File page…
With MyFreeTaxes.com, if your household made less than $66,000 in 2019, you instantly qualify to file both federal and state tax returns completely free.
What is MyFreeTaxes.com?
Their goal is to “fight for the financial stability of every person in every community.” Offering a free tax filing software to over 100 million Americans is a great step towards their goal.
Unlike other “free” tax filing software, MyFreeTaxes.com won’t charge you extra for anything but the basic forms. Which means this is a great option if you have a side-hustle, work freelance, or have investment income. However, I’m not sure if they help you with an employer’s W-3.
MyFreeTaxes.com is actually powered by H&R Block’s premium tax filing software which includes all the goodies that comes with that: easy, secure, and guaranteed to be 100% accurate. It even scans for any tax credits you could be entitled to and will help you with your tax deductions.
If you’re in a rush or want to do your taxes on-the-go, MyFreeTaxes.com even offers mobile support.
Still Need Help? Here’s How to Get Free Tax Return Preparations (If You’re Low Income)
If you can’t figure out how to file your taxes online or just not sure what to do, don’t worry.
If you’re low income, which in this case typically means people who make $54,000 or less, than the IRS offers a program called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
This program lets you go talk to an IRS-certified volunteer who provide free basic tax preparation, along with answering any questions you may have.
Summary: Free Tax Filing for Low (and not so low) Income Households
DO NOT PAY TO FILE YOUR TAXES (FEDERAL AND STATE) IF YOU MADE LESS THAN $66,000 IN 2018.
I repeat, if you made less than $66,000 in 2018, use MyFreeTaxes.com to file your state and federal tax returns COMPLETELY FREE.
Keep in mind to adhere to the tax filing due date though.