You’re in panic mode. Tax Day 2018 is basically here already and you’re nowhere close to hitting send on those tax forms. In fact, you haven’t even started. Instead of dwelling on how you should have taken care of it a month ago — life happens, give yourself a break — find out how to file taxes for free — even if you’re filing at the last minute.
That’s right, there’s a way that you can file taxes for free that doesn’t require tons of time and waiting in that long line at the Post Office. Just because you’re filing in the final hours doesn’t mean you should have to shell out more money for a service. Roughly 70% of taxpayers are eligible to file taxes for free, according to the IRS. So are you part of that group? Let’s find out.
How to file taxes for free
We’ll be clear from the start: not everyone is eligible to file taxes for free. But most of you reading this article probably are. There’s only one requirement for the service, so ask yourself this question: Is my adjusted gross income less than $66,000? If the answer is yes, read on to find out how to file taxes for free, even at the last minute. If you make more than this cut off, sorry, but you’ll have to shell out some cash for another online service.
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Even if you’ve been making an adjusted gross income of less than $66,000 for years, you might not have known that, to the IRS, this means you should have to pay to file your taxes. (For once you can agree with them on something, right?) Before you get started, just make sure you have all relevant forms in front of you, or know where to login to get them if your employer or bank prefers not to send print copies. This includes W-2 forms, any 1099s you have from freelance work, bank documents for accounts that accrue interest, student loan forms, tax forms from your mortgage lender and records of any deductions you plan to itemize, such as charitable giving donations.
From there it’s beyond easy to figure out how to file taxes for free. When you have everything assembled, simply go to the IRS’s portal for Free File Software and let the program navigate you through the process of filing out your forms step-by-step. Free state returns are also an option through this software so you can knock out all your forms at once.
Looking to file for an extension? You can quickly and easily do that online, too. Let us fill you in here on filing for an extension and whether it’s a bad thing to do.