Friday, February 15, 2013

5 Ways to File Your Taxes for Free

Filing taxes can be a burden for many taxpayers.  If you don’t have accurate records it can be a nightmare.  The best way to file your taxes is to stay organized. File all receipts, paperwork or possible paperwork related to personal and business expenses and tax deduction in one folder and categorize them into separate folders and keep handy.  The main expenses to keep track of are:  all business income and spending, home office expenses, retirement contributions, student loan interest, energy efficient upgrades, real estate purchases or sales, charitable donations, contributions to college savings plan, and capital gains. There are several options for filing taxes and some taxpayers are eligible to file their taxes for free. Here are 5 ways to file your taxes for free.

  1. Free Software.  If your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less you can use free tax software such as:  Turbo Tax, Free TaxAct, Tax Slayer or H&R Block’s Free File.
  2. Use Free Forms.  Anyone can use free file fillable forms from  The site provides online versions of paper federal tax forms.
  3. Use Free Services.  Find free tax clinics in you earn less than $57,000 per year or contact AARP if you 50 or older;jsessionid=5AEEBC90128900C378FC28E047FDF3D4.
  4. File Electronically. Efile (electronically) your tax return for free by using direct deposit or pay your taxes online for free by using
  5. Paper forms.  Use paper tax forms to file your taxes and mail them to the IRS.  If you filed last year’s taxes with paper forms the IRS will mail you forms this year.  The only cost is postage. To order paper tax forms call 800-829-3676 Monday through Friday 7 am - 7 pm.

You can get your taxes prepared for free using the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs that. VITA prepares taxes for people who make $50,000 or less.  Call 1-800-906-9887 to get more information.

TCE offers tax help for people 60 years old or older at 1-888-227-7669. You can also visit an IRS volunteer at a self-assistance service site to get free tax preparation.  Visit the IRS website to find a facilitated self-assistance site.

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