Some of the most highly recommended tax software companies now offer free and paid editions for online tax filing.
To choose the best free online tax software, we tested out the free editions, evaluating a few of the most important characteristics along the way.
The one we recommend and which is the simplest to use for free is:
You can file with the free edition if you have the following situations:
- Find your W2 online
- Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
- Claimimg the standard deduction
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
- Child tax credits
There are several benefits to using TurboTax Federal Free Edition. It offers the option to file simple tax returns without paying a single cent.
You can start by easily importing your W-2, answering simple questions about your life, and you’ll get your maximum refund, guaranteed!
Conditions not covered in the Free Edition include:
- Itemized deductions (Schedule A)
- Business or 1099-MISC income (Schedule C)
- Stock sales (Schedule D)
- Rental property income (Schedule E)
- Credits, deductions, and income reported on schedules 1-6, such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction
For those who don’t qualify for the Free Edition we recommend the Deluxe versions by TurboTax:
Deluxe versions search over 350 tax deductions and credits to find every tax break you qualify for so you get your maximum refund.
Homeowners get step-by-step guidance to help turn their biggest investment into their biggest tax break.
Other Editions are available for Self Employed and Business Income and Expenses and Investments and Rental Property.
The best part is that you can try the online software for free and only pay when you file.
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What’s Good About TurboTax?
You should always feel like you can file your return with confidence before choosing any tax software. TurboTax Free Edition is a good choice for this.
The average W-2 worker can prepare their return without paying a thing and file knowing that everything is accurate and they’re not going to get audited later.
TurboTax comes with simple step-by-step instructions for filling out the return, including on their mobile app. Six million people filed using a mobile device last year, says Intuit, and with TurboTax, this couldn’t be easier.
So How Do You Get Started?
You can easily import your W2 form, and the software will then ask you some questions regarding your life to figure out whether you’re entitled to any deductions or if there are any aspects that could change your tax affairs.
There’s also a refund calculator, a real-time audit risk detector, and a free live chat service if you need help with your tax return.
On a side note, the paid edition comes with Smart Look, where you can have a one-way video chat with a CPA or enrolled agent.
To qualify for the Free edition of TurboTax, all you must do is be a worker who needs to file a simple 1040 tax return.
Specifically, this means you have an income under $100,000, you don’t own a home or rental property, you don’t have any big medical bills, and you don’t have any income that would appear on a 1099-MISC form.
Last Word – Making Taxes Simple
By taking advantage of the right tax software, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and ensure that you’ll save a lot of money on accountants.
TurboTax Online is one of the best free tax filing software options around because of its simplicity, comprehensive support, and audit protection.
But no matter which option you choose, choosing the software that fits your needs is important.
Getting your taxes done quickly and without any hassle should be your ultimate priority because that’s what puts the dollars back in your wallet.