Jan
22

File Your Taxes for FREE!

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Form 1040 tax form and calculator

Tax Filing Opens in Ten Days

Tax refund on the horizon! Ten more days and the IRS is open for business!  Let’s see – maybe if I’m lucky (crossing my fingers!), maybe if I get lucky, ten more days after that and I’ll have my refund (hopefully) and can get a set of those amazing Ginsu knives (buy one get one free, you know) and get the dog some of those doggie snow shoes I saw on late night TV!

How many of you out there have been thinking this very thing (substituting car repair, insurance, or dental bills for the doggie snow shoes)?

You Can Prepare to File Right Now

The IRS will open the 2014 tax filing season next Friday, January 31.  What that means is, the IRS will not accept or process any tax returns until January 31 – BUT – it does not mean you can’t prepare your return now and have everything ready to go with a few mouse clicks!

Don’t think you can get a jump by filing a paper return right now, either – the tax man won’t open any mail until next Friday.  Your tax return is sitting in a mail bag on a dock at the back of a big, cold building!

File Your Taxes Electronically – For FREE

Did you make $58,000 or less last year?  If you did, you can file your taxes electronically and free of charge:

Visit  http://www.irs.gov/Filing  immediately and use FREE E-file to prepare your 2014 tax return.  Click through the prompts, and you’ll end up with a list of 14 commercial tax software companies that offer their product free through the IRS.

Easy to Use Professional Sofware

The professional software offered by these companies is usually pretty easy to use. You will click through a series of interview screens that ask questions about family members, income, taxes paid, withholding, deductions, and more.

Gather all of your tax paperwork together before sitting down to do the interview. Make sure you have a copy of last year’s tax return – Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.  Having everything at hand will make the task easier, and you’ll need last year’s return in order to confirm your identity to the IRS.

Not All Companies Are the Same When It Comes to the Details

There are 14 commercial tax software companies that make their products available for free, and only through Free File at IRS.gov. They are not all the same.

  • Each company sets its own eligibility criteria, generally based on income, age, state residency, eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and military status
  • If your adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less, you will find one or more free software options
  • Once at the company’s website, review their information to ensure it meets your needs. For example, some offer free filing for state tax returns, and some charge a fee

So Many Choices!  Help Me Choose!

If you have trouble picking a company from the fourteen names on the list, the IRS offers an online tool that will help you choose.  Answer six questions at this link, and based on your answers, a list of company options will return to you:

Click Here for Help Picking a Software Package

I don’t qualify for free filing – what’s out there for me?

If your income is above $58,000, the IRS offers a Free File Fillable Forms option.  It will also be available for filing January 31.  Free Fillable Forms is an online tool that displays fillable, electronic versions of the paper tax forms.   This software will do the math for you, but only offer basic guidance.  You must have some knowledge of tax prep in order to use this tool.

Note: There is no state tax prep available through Free File Fillable Forms.

Click Here for Free Fillable Forms

When you do file electronically, use Direct Deposit for your refund.  You’ll receive it much faster than a paper check.

I have no intention of buying Ginsu knives or doggie snow shoes with my tax refund – if I get one.  I won’t know until I file, which won’t be for months.  How fast will you file your taxes this year? If you do receive a refund, what are your plans for the money?  Spend or put away for a rainy day?

For more information, visit:

Free File Frequently Asked Questions 

Return Preparation and Filing Options  

Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Individuals  

Internal Revenue Service

 

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Categories : Form 1040, IRS, Taxes

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