Free Online Tax Filing Options

Free online tax filing can save you some good cash when your wallet is slim. Tax time is stressful for some people who worry about whether or not they will have to pay.

The good news for taxpayers is that you just may be able to file your tax return for free this year. Here is a look at who qualifies for special free filing programs, free tax assistance programs, and free tax software as well as information on free online tax filing.

File For Free With IRS Free File

  • Free Tax Software (Those not itemizing with incomes under $58,000 for 2010): If you do not plan to itemize your tax return and your adjusted gross income (AGI) does not exceed $58,000, you can file for free through free file which is offered by the IRS.

    The IRS has partnered with numerous tax software preparation companies in order to offer you this service. Just visit the IRS website and follow the prompts to find a company that will be a good match for you.

    After you have completed the questionnaire, you will then be matched with various free tax software packages that fit your needs.

    After you are matched with a company, you will be able to fill out your tax forms right from your computer. The system will check for any math errors and once you have completed your return, you can proceed with free online tax filing.

    Keep in mind that free file is only for federal returns and only some states participate in this.

  • Free File Fillable Forms (Those that do meet qualifications above): If you have an AGI over $58,000 for 2010, or you prefer not to use tax filing software, you can use the free fillable forms offered by the IRS.

    These forms do have the functionality to do some basic calculations but are just one step easier than preparing the forms manually. In order to complete these forms you will need to have tax preparation experience since there is no guidance provided. Once you have completed these forms online you will be able to use the free e-file system to submit your federal return.

Free Filing and Preparation Through Volunteer Tax Programs

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA): This program is offered to individuals that have an AGI of $49,000 or less who can't prepare their taxes on their own. The individuals that help with the tax returns are trained to prepare basic tax returns.

    There are many VITA sites located across the country in neighborhood and community centers, libraries, schools, malls, and other common locations.

  • Tax Counseling For the Elderly (TCE): TCA is a program that offers free tax help to individuals that are 60 or older. Volunteers for TCE provide free tax return preparation for individuals with basic income tax returns.

    The volunteers for this program are typically retired individuals that are associated with a nonprofit group that receives grants from the IRS that cover the out-of-pocket expenses for the individuals providing the help. AARP has over 7,000 locations located across the United States during tax season.

    You can locate the closest AARP site by calling (888) 227-7669 or by going to the AARP website.

  • Free Help to Military & Their Families: The Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provides tax assistance to those in the military. Members of the military and their spouses are able to get free tax preparation and filing if they choose to participate in the program.

    Military members can receive free tax advice and tax preparation at VITA sites located within their installations. These VITA sites have volunteers that are trained to deal with military specific tax issues.

If you are looking to save money this tax season with free online tax filing, there are many available options. Don't wait until the last moment to get an appointment if you choose to use one of the free assistance programs or free tax software.

Author Bio

Manny Davis is a tax professional and writer that helps individuals file late taxes, setup payment plans, and resolve other tax problems.

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