Tuesday, January 16, 2007

FreeFile Your Taxes

Do you have to file taxes this year, but you're not sure where or how to get started? Since 2003, the IRS has partnered with a consortium of private tax software companies to provide free electronic tax filing services to select populations.

You qualify for a free federal tax e-file if your Adjusted Gross Income is less than $52,000, but read carefully - most companies have additional qualification stipulations, so check individual company websites.

For example, TaxSlayer.com offers free state tax filing, and free federal tax filing services to filers who are: age 25 and under; 65 and older; active military; or qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit. And those who have a red baseball cap, a brown pony, or a yellow submarine too! Okay, I'm kidding about the pony, the cap, and the submarine, but you get the idea...free e-filing could get complicated.

Last year, I used TaxAct, and ended up paying $15 to file my state return. (I should have paid more attention, but my excuse: it was my first year filing on my own, and reading all that tax jargon made my head hurt. Bad excuse, I know.) But this year will be better; I'll start early, collect all my tax forms, and I'll probably use TaxSlayer.com, where I can file both federal and state taxes for free.

So kick off your taxes by checking the IRS website for the list of participating e-file companies, and happy free Filing!

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