Tax preparers usually need a TurboTax discount code to get a great deal on the software for tax season. However, millions of TurboTax users can file their federal tax return for free with the Free Edition.
No TurboTax Discount Code Required
For the second year in a row, TurboTax will be allowing simple filers (those using forms 1040EZ and 1040A) to complete their federal and state taxes at absolutely no cost to them — that’s $0 for federal, $0 for state, and $0 to file with TurboTax Federal Free Edition.
Last year, this offer ended in February, so your time may be limited. However, simple filers usually still have the ability to file their federal tax return for free anytime.
No TurboTax discount code or promo code is needed to access this offer.
To take advantage of this offer, simply click on the link here or above to get this limited time offer.
More Tax Software Research
If you’re not quite sure, or want to do a bit more research on tax preparation software, you can check out one of our two comprehensive resources below. These resources lay out how the best tax preparation software stack up and what to look for when selecting the right software for DIY tax filers.
Free Filing 101
Whether you’re looking for a discount, expecting a painful tax bill, or just want to save a buck, the good news is that it might not cost you a dime to file your taxes online with Uncle Sam. There are a few options: the Free File Alliance, IRS Free Fillable Forms, and commercial tax preparers’ own free filing options. These offers include the TurboTax promotion described above.
Free File Alliance
The IRS has partnered with 14 commercial tax software providers to form the Free File Alliance. This alliance helps 70 percent of Americans, or about 100 million people, file their federal tax returns for free. Some providers allow taxpayers to file their state income taxes free, too.
Every company has set its own eligibility criteria regarding income, age, state, military status, and eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, your 2017 adjusted gross income must be less than $60,000 to be eligible for at least one offer through the Free File Alliance.
Free Fillable Forms
If your income is too high to take advantage of the Free File Alliance, you can still use the IRS Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of your income and tax situation. These are simply the electronic version of paper federal tax forms. You can submit them online and receive your refund faster than filling out and mailing paper tax returns. But while this service can help you with the math or catch simple numerical errors as you prepare your taxes, it doesn’t extensively guide your preparation like tax software. It’s also for federal taxes only.
Other Free Offers
You may be eligible for commercial tax software providers’ individual free-filing options, offered separately from the Free File Alliance. All the best tax software offer a free federal version, but not all offer free state filing also. The TurboTax discount promotion does.
TurboTax only requires that you file either Form 1040A or 1040EZ, not the more complex Form 1040, to qualify for free federal and state e-filing.
How do I know if I can file 1040A or 1040EZ?
You might be eligible to file one of these two forms if you meet all of the following criteria:
- You make less than $100,000 in taxable income, whether single or filing jointly
- You won’t itemize your deductions
- You don’t have any self-employment income to report
- You didn’t receive any income from selling property
When do I have to file form 1040?
On the other hand, you may have to file the longer Form 1040 for several reasons. They include the following:
- You make more than $100,000 in taxable income, whether single or filing jointly
- You will itemize your deductions
- Your employer did not withhold federal taxes
- You received self-employment income
- You received income from tips that you did not report
- You received income from selling property
- You received income from alimony
- You have to report capital gains or losses
This is by no means an exhaustive list. For a more robust discussion of which form you can file, the IRS discusses the differences here.
A few of the companies that made our list of Best Free Tax Software may also allow you to file your federal taxes for free. They all have unique strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll find a more detailed discussion in that article. However, note that all of these providers will charge you to file your state taxes, unlike TurboTax.
- H&R Block may catch a few taxpayers who fall through the cracks in TurboTax’s program. If you file your 1040 with Schedule A because you itemize deductions, report charitable donations or mortgage interest, or use a Health Savings Account, you can still file for free with H&R Block — including a free state return, in most cases.
- TaxAct doesn’t restrict any filers from using its free program, no matter how complex their tax situation. State filing can cost up to $37, however.
- TaxSlayer also supports all forms and filing situations. Its Simply Free option currently allows those using a 1040EZ form to file federal and state returns for free, but the free service doesn’t offer audit support.
If You’re Eligible, Use TurboTax
To summarize: As long as you can file either the 1040A or 1040EZ, TurboTax has the best free offer for tax preparation. That’s because you’ll be able to file both your federal and state taxes free while benefiting from TurboTax’s simple but thorough tax preparation software. H&R Block is the best free bet for those who itemize deductions or otherwise need to use a standard 1040. And while other providers will allow free filing for 1040 users, you’ll still need to pony up to e-file your state taxes.
If your taxable income is less than $60,000, it’s possible you’ll find a provider that allows free federal and state filing through the Free File Alliance. Your eligibility will vary by provider, however.
Your last free option is the Free File Fillable Forms, provided directly by the IRS. However, because these forms don’t guide taxpayers like fully featured tax software, you might be better off using a commercial preparer, even if you’re ineligible for a free offer.
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