No-one likes paying taxes, but truly no-one likes paying for a tax service. Fortunately there are a number of free online services for quickly navigating you through the 2,600 pages of the American Tax Code.
Thinking about the extent of your taxes early will give you a head start towards getting them done in an orderly and beneficial manner. Leaving them until April 1st practically guarantees that an inexperienced filer will pay too much or not notice deductions or possible credits.
FreeTaxUSA is a well-loved service that offers free federal tax returns for all situations. That means even if you generate revenue through more complex situations like farming or renting, if you’re self-employed, if you own a house, a business, or contract freelancers, you won’t pay a dime to file.
With many filing services, state returns come at a premium because they involve navigating through 50 separate tax codes. FreeTaxUSA charges $15 for a state return, but in a love-train of comments on a recent Reddit thread about free tax software, one Redditor claimed they will set you up with a physical state return so you only pay the price of a stamp.
“Always impressed with the level of support they have for a free service,” another commented.
“Their service is excellent, and so easy to get through even if you don’t know what you are doing,” said another. “But also easy to use if you do know what you’re doing!”
OLT.com, short for Online Taxes, is another mostly-free filing service which seems, based on the Redditors’ reviews, to be very similar to Turbo Tax—a service which as of this year pulled out of the IRS Free File Program, and therefore no longer offers a free option.
OLT’s state return is $9.99 while all federal returns of all filing situations are free. They keep all of your information to port over for the following year’s taxes, so for filers with a single W-2 source of income, it seems incredibly expedient.