How to File Your State Income Tax Online for Free

5 free ways to file your STATE taxes for FREE. It is pretty easy to find a free FEDERAL option, but filing state taxes for free can be tough to find.It isn’t too difficult to find a place to file your federal tax return for free, but finding a service to file your state return for free is another story.

I did a little digging and found a few options to consider . . . .

How to File Your State Return for Free!

As you have probably noticed, many places offer a free filing of a Federal return but don’t offer free state filing. But there are a few ways to get your state tax return done for free.

Free State Tax Filing Websites

my free taxes - free tax filingMyFreeTaxes.com – This is a not-for-profit with funding from the Walmart Foundation, The United Way and H&R block – and they offer free state and federal tax returns if you meet the criteria.
on-line taxes free state filing.pngOn-Line Taxes – This one is pretty simple. You have to have an adjusted gross income within a certain range. If you don’t qualify both returns cost $7.95. They are a little bit different than many of the other places in that they offer free customer service with a toll-free number, e-mail, and live tax help. They also allow you to view the forms before paying.

How to File Your Federal Return for Free!

In the past I have gone to the IRS free file webpage, because they have links to a bunch of tax preparers that offer free tax return filing (for federal anyway). Some of them offer a state return to be filed for free as well, but most don’t.

If you are interested in this option, you will have to use the links on the IRS page in order to get the free efile deal they are offering. Many of the tax preparation websites listed will not offer you the free efile if you go directly to their website.

Another Option: Go to Your Local State Government Website

Also, you can go directly to your state’s Department of Revenue website to see if they offer a free filing option.

Worst Option: Get the Paper Forms and Mail Them In

Yes, it sounds pretty archaic, but if you really want to file your state return for free and don’t qualify for the options listed above, this might not be a bad option. If you have already completed the federal form online, it should be pretty easy to fill out the state return. You can get the forms from your local library or you can print them off at your state’s Department of Revenue website.

One Last Tip About E-Filing Your Tax Return

Do it before Friday morning. The government processes tax returns in week-long blocks. So Friday morning at 11am, they process all the returns they received over the previous week. So if you can sneak it in right before the cutoff (Fridays at 11am EST) you will just get your refund that much quicker . . . .















Comments

67 Comments
  1. Oh how I love Nevada – no state income tax!

  2. Sickening to know that WV is one of the poorest state in the country, yet we have taxes on our food and we charge people to file their returns online…..but I guess that is why we are one of the few states that do not have a budget deficit.

    Thanks for the links, my brother would qualify for a lot of these services.

  3. Oh, thank you for compiling this– it’s on my “week to do list” and the week is drawing to a close quickly!

  4. Taxslayer is great! I’ve used them for years. Glad to see them in the list!

  5. One note on your last comment. Make sure they get submitted and accepted by Thursday at noon. If you wait until Friday you will be on the next week’s cycle. This applies only to the IRS as many states have a different refund cycle. You can also look up the refund cycle on the IRS website as well to understand when you can expect your refund to post to your account.

    Also if things have changed from year to year it can pay to have an expert look at your return to make sure you have captured all the deductions and credits. Many times the price is well worth it.

  6. Jim Lehmkuhl

    Just used your Free EFile http://www.TaxSlayer.com for my daughter. What a breeze. Will have her refund within 10 days direct deposit. Thanks for the recommend. Jim

  7. I’m just not sure why more taxing agencies don’t promote free e-filing, it has to save them money in processing all of the paper forms.

  8. I’m not sure why more taxing agencies do not promote e-filing. Especially in time of government debts and crisis, why should the government not want everyone to e-file for free?

  9. why does no one else support free e-filings?

  10. Last year I did my nc state for free. I tried all your suggestions with no luck. I have owed back taxes and can’t get caught up before I get laid off again:(. Will be mailing:)

  11. I just found out about through the NY State Tax information website:
    http://www.icanefile.org

    It does free Federal e-file plus one of the following state e-files: California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania or Montana.

    It doesn’t have any income requirements, so more people should be able to use it.

  12. My version of Turbo tax is suppose to come with one free state filing. In my case Illinois. When I choose Illinois the program wants to charge me another $39.00. I don’t get it. This has never happened in the past. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Yes, I have a similar problem, except they want to charge me $29.95. I have used Turbotax for several years and always had free state filing.

    • I had no problem doing my taxes using this site. However, when I did my daughter’s who lives in Ma, it charged me as well. Didn’t know until all her info was already put in :(

  13. anne vilen

    I tried to do the turbo tax free nc state tax form, but it does not allow you to complete the form without paying the fee. Many bloggers on their comment sidebar remark on the same. Have you found a way around this?

  14. I did my federal taxes for free on Turbo Tax but they too wanted to charge me about $30 to do my state. I’ve heard that if you choose the free “basic” package instead of the free “Freedom Edition”, this will happen so try to find their “Freedom Edition” first and see if that helps. Unfortunately I didn’t know any better and went with the Basic, which won’t let you switch to the “Freedom” Edition. That may not work but I suggest at least trying the Freedom Edition first because that’s what others commented on their chat . . . I’ll check out Tax Slayer (also from NC!).

    • To ensure you get the “free” version, use the link on the IRS website. The last I knew, TT doesn’t offer the free edition on their front page.

  15. Michele

    As of 4/6/10, eSmart Tax is offering free state e-filing with their Premium product for ALL taxpayers – no restrictions on age or income! Plus, with the Premium product, you get free tax-related support from Liberty Tax professionals. That’s an awesome deal!

  16. sjluke

    thank you so much for this page of info!! I have paid for State in the past when doing my kids taxes and since I have always waited till the last minute to file I never had time to research. OH, it’s free.

  17. It seems that TaxSlayer is NOT FREE. New York State lists it and the requirements online under companies that support Free File. I meet the requirements, yet when I complete the return, it says the fee is $9.95 to e-file.

  18. Can anyone tell me if i can just file my south carolina state taxes for free i have already filed my federal taxes. when i go to the free sites they want to start my federal return and all i want to pay is mt state taxes.

  19. Excellent article. I could file my returns within minutes.

    Thanks a ton !!!!!

  20. nline state tax filing is one of the most excellent options for filing your state tax return. Electronically state tax filing is very convenient for US Tax payers. There are lots of tax payers are pay their taxes online because it is also suitable in time period, fees and more.

    • kevin herndon

      I want to file my state taxes online

  21. Im from Maryland Ive done my federal at turbotax for years for free and I go to Md.gov to do my state for free. Check your state webpage to see if they have it where you can file your state for free.

  22. Seth Christensen

    Last year I let turbotax do all the work on the state income tax for me. When it came to the state, I just used the numbers form the federal income tax to efile on the state tax website. It went very smoothly. I didn’t pay a dime.

  23. Thanks Bob! Your website is a God-send. ;) Blessings to you and yours! Now off to file my free State taxes! There’s joy in the journey!

  24. Thanks for all the info–saved me money on my taxes and my daughters. I am grateful to you.

  25. my SSN was stolen and used to file taxes with taxslayer.com. I reported it to them and they took no responsibility. Do they even have a verification system? AND several months later they sent me a postcard advertising their service. Unbelievable behavior.

  26. Turbo Tax charges much more than $9.95 to file your state return. My son made $10,000 in IL, Turbo Tax wanted to charge him $27.95 to efile.

    • Julie, according to the Turbo Tax Freedom Project (accessed via the link in the article) they provide free state tax filing for a bunch of states, but illinois is not one of them. This is from the site:

      “If you qualify for a Free Federal filing, you may also qualify for FREE STATE filing in the following states:
      AL, AR, AZ, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV.”

  27. Kimberly

    Thank you SO much for this information you have gathered. It was very helpful to me and my taxes are now done!

  28. This site directs users to H&R Block where the federal return is free but NOT the state.

    • Actually if you create a new account instead of logging into an existing account, it may work.

  29. idk why people pay for turbotax software, when they can get the federal return for free on there? to me, it seems like such a waste of money.

  30. You should try the state website first. You might be surprised how EASY it is. I ignore those “free state filing” taglines as Illinois has a great online filing system that is as straightforward as you can ask for and NOTHING is faster (since other services have to go through an intermediary).

    Don’t be afraid, go to the state.

  31. Thanks, this helped a lot. I filed both federal and state return for free at MyFreeTaxes.com

  32. Kimberly

    Thank you so much for having this helpful site!!!! I really was able to file my state & federal for FREE!!! I didn’t believe it could be true. Seems to always be a catch at the end. I am so broke I couldn’t afford to spend an extra penny. I am so relieved that I am done and don’t have to worry about filing anymore. Whew. . . Time to relax on a stormy saturday in California
    I used H & R Block at home (online) and was even able to efile. Only took me 45 min start to finish including saving and printing

  33. I really cant understand why Minnesota does not have a free online filing system like the Federal does. It is such a simple task to fill out the forms, we will not pay anyone $14-27 to simply file our forms.
    This is ridiciulous, Minnesota, please let us file for free!

  34. i dont owe any taxes as i havent been working for the last few years as i have had 2 babies,medical challenges etc…wanted to know if there is a way i can file taxes 4 free online.state and federal. thanks in advance.

  35. Tried filing with “myfreetaxes” since if you efile a fed return, in NY you are required to efile a state return as well, so am looking for a way to do it free since i am poor. Well, “myfreetaxes” didn’t work for me. i got all the way to the end, and no matter how many times i tried, it would not efile the documents. I realize that this is just my experience, but I would suggest trying one of the other sites before you bother putting your info in.

  36. I just looked on TurboTax, and even with the Federal Free edition, you NOW have to pay @ $40 to file a state return…at least for Louisiana…before this year I only ever paid $9.95…wonder why it went up???

  37. The Free Turbo Tax version for both State and Federal is called the “Turbo Tax Freedom” program but it isn’t available until January 30, 2013. Check out: turbotax.intuit.com/taxfreedom/

  38. Thank you for doing this research! I have to file in 3 states and the Virgin Islands, and myfreetaxes.com was a lifesaver…got it all done for free!

  39. I used Tax Hawk and it worked like a charm. Was able to file my parent fed and state for free. Thanks for sharing.

  40. I live in Texas but first half of last year I was living in Virginia, so I still have state tax to file. I was able to file my federal taxes for free for both states at a VITA tax filing center, but they couldn’t do state tax return for me. So, I will have to pay at least $12-15 to do so, which sucks because I’m only getting about $60-80 back from state. I wish there was a Free State Tax only service. If you know of any, please let me know! thanks

  41. D. L. Jones

    Hello to All,

    You can get your federal and state free (for most states) when you type in the words
    “Taxslayer American Pledge.” This is their freefile site where you pay $0.00 to file Federal and State if your state participates and your AGI is less than $30,000. Unlike Turbotax Intuit Freedom where they say that it costs $0.00 for Federal and State but they end up charging a $14.99 flat fee for usage even if your state participates in the program.

    Pray this helps,
    God Bless

  42. I tried to use BeeHive.org and MyFreeTaxes.com for my state taxes, but both of those sites just redirected me to H And R block which tries to charge me for state taxes.

  43. smart cardia

    i used myfreetaxes.com – it was great – no wonder it was no 1 on this list – very good software…

  44. I’ve posted this before, but many areas offer free tax preparation with a real live person by using the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. You should be able to go to the IRS website and search on VITA to find a place near you. In our area, you can call 211 to get an appointment.

    Volunteers go through an IRS training program to get certified. Generally, we do state & federal for taxpayers who have less than $52,00 in income. There’s no charge and we can do taxes for multiple states (I prepared taxes fora taxpayer who had both SC & NY income yesterday).

    Save the fee and file for free!

  45. clydewolf

    You can also ask your Senior Center or Office for The Aging for the location of the nearest AARP/TCE tax preparation site. These folks are volunteers and their service is FREE!

  46. I have used Turbo tax before and never had any problems.

  47. David Christopher

    Absolute Zero at Turbo Tax is not working for State returns. Just get an empty page. Federal works fine, not state.

  48. Thanks for this compilation – yeah, Turbo Tax is not working…or just a downtime?