How To File Federal Taxes Online For Free

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If you have a simple or basic tax return there is no reason to pay to file your federal taxes - file free federal taxes online.  In addition, it is much more convenient and faster to process a tax return online.

Filing Free Federal Taxes Online: Important Facts

  • Most free Federal E-filing is limited to a “simple return” – 1040-EZ.
  • Free File is available only to taxpayers with a maximum Adjusted Gross Income  of $57,000.
  • Some Free E-file companies may establish their own lower income limit.
  • While the Free Federal E-file is a legitimate offer, many companies seek to get you to purchase additional products.  Specifically, if you do a state return with the company you will need to be prepared to pay a fee to file state tax returns.
  • The product offerings of each company is different.  Specifically, different forms and schedules that are supported under the free offer differ.  Be sure to check the company’s website to determine which forms are available.

File Taxes Online For Free

To start you can go directly to the IRS website.

There will be a form similar to the one below.  All you need to do is fill it out and they will show you a list of all of the companies that allow you to free E-file.

file taxes for free

Three of the Leading Free E-File Companies


Turbo Tax

Turbo Tax Free Edition: 1040 EZ and simple returns

Free federal efile is included, but state filing is an extra cost.

This is only recommended for those with very simple returns.

If your situation is more complex, Turbo tax offers different paid products – Delux, Premier, Home and Business, and Business.  When you purchase these products you then prepare your taxes for free, and E-file at no cost.

Tax Act

Tax Act: Free Federal Edition

Federal efile is included.  You can prepare, print and E-file for free.

In addition, Tax Act offers free email and audit support.

Free Tax USA

Free Tax USA: Free Federal E-file

Free federal E-File included.  This, again, is focused on simple tax returns.  The site claims that most returns can be completed within 30 minutes. You do not download any software, but file directly online.

Do you do a free E-File?  What company do you use or recommend?


  1. says

    Good advice Craig. I see no reason to pay to file your taxes if you situation is basic and you can do it for free. For the past few years, I’ve been using the free e-file service from H&R Block.

    As far as filing your state income taxes goes, there are available resources that allow you to file for free as well. Here’s a website where you can find your individual state and see if they offer free filing. Different states may have different requirements in order to be eligible.
    .-= Darren´s last blog ..The Laziest Way To Start Investing Successfully =-.

  2. says

    Craig, Thanks for including as a recommendation. We actually support investment income, Schedule C, rental income, and more in the free edition. We also have zero restrictions or qualifications for the free federal return.

    Other things that set us apart is that FreeTaxUSA doesn’t charge returning users a fee to carry forward their prior year data and our state prep fee is one of the lowest anywhere online.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

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