With the tax season coming to a close many people are looking for quick and free options to ensure they get not only the biggest refund possible, but also to ensure the IRS has no reason to come knocking. Here, we take a look at some of the IRS’s recommended programs to complete your tax filings in 2017 for free. Do keep in mind that while most people will find some, if not all of these options free, each tax and thus payment system is different. With that in mind, let’s look at the best free tax software in 2017.
Now, if you’re filing and in a hurry, TaxAct may be your best free option. Of course, that does come with some caveats. For the free version, you do need to file only a 1040A or a 1040EZ, but in many cases this would be all that you would have needed in the first place. If you do instead need to itemize or file a different form (say, a 1099) then it will offer you inexpensive ways to do your taxes. The interface itself is simple and easy to use, and the guidance through the process is quite well done. If you do end up having questions regarding your taxes, TaxAct also has a great online help section, and protections available if you are audited by the IRS. To take advantage of the free version of TaxAct you can click here.
Liberty Tax Service
For some, the added features of tax programs nowadays can be seen as a little too involved, a bit too much hand holding. For these people, who still want a free program, Liberty Tax Service may be a good fit. Allowing for form selection for those that know what they need to file and an easy to use. As a bonus, there are multiple physical Liberty Tax Service locations available nationwide, which allow for support if needed. While not always free (as conditions do vary) many will find it cheap and easy to do your taxes through LTS if you’ve paid attention in previous years. While there is no option to pay any potential fees with a cut of your refund, there is a refund advance program, though do keep in mind potential interest and loan details, and that this can only be done in office.
One of the smaller names in the tax preparation game, TaxSlayer still has plenty to offer for customers, including free filings if you are below 52 years old and make less than $63,000 a year if you live in certain states. While not tax software in the most traditional sense (it being a website), Taxslayer does offer most of the features that would classify it as such and is an IRS supported option along all listed here. On the off chance you don’t qualify for truly free, TaxSlayer also allows you to file your taxes to be filed and your return be charged as opposed to upfront fees, which may fit the tighter budgets or interesting situations. While not quite as chock full of features as some of the big names, TaxSlayer is good if you want to get in, get out, and get refunded in a hurry.
A big name in the tax industry, H&R Block is also pretty big when it comes to savings. With a layout that is extremely user friendly, people can feel like tax experts by time they have finished their first years filings. In terms of cost, there are plenty of savings to be had. Around 6 in 10 people who file with H&R Block will be able to do so for free, with both state and federal tax filings. This also includes Schedule A itemized deductions, which includes medical expenses, charitable donations, losses due to theft and job expenses. As if this could be any better, you can import your W-2 via a smartphone picture, and import last years tax data from nearly anywhere for free, making H&R Block a solid choice for those looking for free tax software.
If you end up needing the paid version, you can get it on discount at Amazon.com by clicking here.
By far one of the most popular tax programs this year has been TubroTax by Intuit software. Though often on the quite pricey side, for those that can qualify for the free version (1040EZ and 1040A filers) will get some of the best features available in the tax software industry. Similar to H&R Block mentioned above, importation of your W-2 through a snapshot is a breeze, and TurboTax lets you know exactly how each entry affects your returns. Turbotax also has a very handy “ExplainWhy” function, which gives you the rationale of how each entry affects your tax refund, allowing you to learn as you go instead of merely entering data and getting a return. As a final bonus, E-filing is free with Turbotax, meaning that instead of waiting on a check, direct deposit can be selected which may be of great benefit, considering the possible refund delays this tax season.
Again if you need to take advantage of the paid version of TurboTax you can get it for the best price by buying it at Amazon.com here.