You Can Probably File Your Taxes for Free. Really.

Sign up for SaverLife to take the Tax Time Pledge and enter to win cash prizes.

We know taxes are important. The government needs revenue to do things it does for our society. We want to comply with the law and pay the taxes we owe. Plus, most of us want a refund if we are entitled to it. But having to pay to get that done, when our tax situation seems simple, can be frustrating. Luckily, there are excellent free options!

Some quick links:

Get Help Filing Your Taxes with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation. But there are qualifications. Generally, VITA is for people earning $57,000 or less, but some locations may go higher. There is also VITA support for people with disabilities and for taxpayers with limited English. Most VITA programs are for older folks, for minorities, and for military service members. If you find one that focuses on a group that you aren’t part of, they may still be able to help you. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

Much like the IRS Free File program, there are typically limitations on the type of forms a VITA location will do for taxpayers. And some locations offer guided tax return assistance, meaning you will be doing the tax return with their help. So, if you want them to do it for you, check ahead of time to see what they offer. You can find a location using your preferred internet search engine, but I prefer the VITA locator tool. Check during tax season (usually January – April) if you can’t find a location close to you outside of tax season.

File Your Taxes the Old-School Way

You can go to IRS.gov, print out the forms, and read the instructions to do your tax returns by hand. The IRS prefers that taxpayers file tax returns electronically and many states encourage taxpayers to file their state taxes electronically. It will generally take you longer to prepare a tax return on paper. Plus, processing a paper tax return will almost always take longer.

Once the 2021 Filing Season is up and running in January, you can also get fillable forms online on the IRS website. Anyone can use these to file electronically. But with this electronic filing, you have to follow the publications and instructions on your own. It doesn’t include software to help with preparing tax returns.

So those are some free tax filing options. Maybe you can’t avoid taxes, but perhaps you can avoid paying to fulfill your tax obligation when your situation isn’t too complicated.

***

SaverLife is a nonprofit that helps you save money with helpful tips, a supportive community, and prizes to reward you on your savings journey. SaverLife is giving away $20,000 to people who pledge to file their taxes for free this year. Sign up now!

Take Charge of Your Savings
Earn rewards for creating a brighter future
Sign up to save more

Recommended Articles

How Do You Get a Perfect Credit Score?

When you’re ready to start or build your credit, it’s important to understand your credit score. If you understand your credit score, you’ll be able to grow and improve it, maybe even someday achieving a perfect score. When people discuss credit scores, they are often talking about the FICO Score. The FICO Score, created by… Read more

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Hi, I’m Dirk. I’m a tax expert with Intuit’s TurboTax and I’m here today to talk to you about the Earned Income Tax Credit. What is the Earned Income Tax Credit? It’s a tax credit available for those who are low- and moderate-income families and the benefit varies depending on whether you have children or not. If you’re… Read more

Do I Need to File a Tax Return?

Hi, I’m Kasey, and I’m a tax expert here with Intuit’s TurboTax. I’m here today to talk about some frequently asked questions that many taxpayers have. Do I need to file? Not everyone is required to file a tax return every year. Generally, if your income doesn’t exceed certain thresholds, you don’t even have to file a return. The… Read more