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
TurboTax Absolute ZERO – The free version of TurboTax is available to these filers according to their website: “If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who file a 1040A/1040EZ, then you qualify. That means you have a taxable income of $100,000 or less and you claim the standard deduction rather than itemizing deductions.”
MyFreeTaxes.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 – 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 . . . .