Easiest Ways to File Your Taxes Online
This year’s tax season deadline is quickly approaching, even though it seems like tax season just started yesterday! We have grown accustomed to doing everything online, from buying cars to investing in the stock market, and now we can even file our tax returns online. Did you know that about 80% of returns are expected to be filed online this year?
Despite a wide array of “free” tax preparation software options available online, most digital filers opt for using a well-known brand name solution. With all the stress that tax season brings, we decided to find out the simplest and most trusted ways to e-file. The following are our top picks!
IRS Free File Alliance
To encourage more Americans to e-file their taxes instead of doing it the old-school pen and paper way, the IRS partnered with some of the top tax software companies in the country to form the Free File Alliance. The alliance includes many well-known and successful tax companies like H&R Block and TurboTax. More than 50 million tax returns have been prepared online since the inception of the alliance.
Here’s the catch: the companies that the IRS partners with must adhere to specific restrictions that enable them to qualify for Free File Alliance status. Some companies might have a cap on how much joint income you earn, your age, where you live, or be required to charge for state tax filing services. To browse each partnered company and their specific restrictions, visit the IRS website.
Keep in mind that the IRS still offers paper tax return filings as an incredibly affordable "Do-It-Yourself" approach. You print out the appropriate tax form on the IRS website, fill out your information, and purchase the postage stamp to mail it in. The downside to choosing this route is the possibility of human error with incorrectly written information.
H&R Block is one of the most recommended tax preparation providers on the market. They’re also one of the companies partnered with the IRS’s Free File Alliance. As long as you qualify, you can opt for using their basic federal free file edition. When browsing their website, you may feel bombarded with the vast selection of tax return products that they offer, but as long as you see the government’s Free e-file logo somewhere on the page, you’ll know you are in the right place.
Free File Alliance aside, H&R Block’s other commercial products may also offer value. According to customers, they provide one on one help as well as free audit support. Their deluxe online tax filing product starts at $44.99 which boasts MyBlock, a service that stores your tax documents for six years, as well as the use of DeductionPro, which lets you maximize your tax savings from charitable donations.
Intuit’s TurboTax also ranks as one of the top tax preparation services available to people wanting to file their tax returns online. Beginning with their Free File Alliance partnership product, TurboTax All Free service lets you receive a free federal return if your adjusted gross income is $33,000 or less or if you’re eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Just like H&R Block, TurboTax also offers their own highly popular online tax return services and a collection of products including a Free Edition, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed packages. Here’s how it works: when you jump on their website for the first time, they’ll ask you several simple questions to identify which of their tax products is best for you. Once you pick a package, they offer the peace of mind that you don’t have to pay until you file. One drawback to their Free Edition is that many forms and schedules are not available with the package. Turbo Tax is the most well know tax filing brands on the web. This means that the company can get away with charging more than competitors do for the same or similar e-filing services.
For those wanting a budget-friendly way to quickly file their tax returns online, Tax Act is worth considering. Just as with H&R Block and TurboTax, you may qualify for the IRS’ Free e-file version of the program if your adjusted gross income is of $53,000 or less.
But even if your yearly income exceeds qualifications or you’d like more of the bells and whistles when filing your taxes, Tax Act is still one of the least expensive online filing options. According to Nerd Wallet, Tax Act is a bargain compared to the competition, and their Plus version is less than half the cost of H&R Block’s and TurboTax’s comparable products.
With a plethora of online tax preparation services out there, balancing the scale between which products will best suit your needs can be a time-consuming process. However, browsing the services provided by any one of the companies mentioned above will save you time and money when e-filing your taxes this year.
At Infinity, we’re all about making life simpler and easier, which is why our friendly agents are always equipped to help you. Contact us at 1-800-INFINITY or visit us our website today for a free online quote!
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