Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, CFP® = "Dr. MAC"

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Free File for Taxes is Truly Free and Fast

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

It may not be a free lunch, but it is a free service, if you qualify. The Internal Revenue Service, new technology, and software makers eager to gain your allegiance and trust (and sell you upgrades in the future) are actually offering ways to file your federal income tax free of a filing charge. It’s time to put away the old stereotypes about the drudgery of tax filing. Look at your many options to file yourself online for free and become more accountable for what you pay in taxes annually and ways you can cut your taxes. If you’re among the more than 20 million Americans who file a 1040EZ tax form with no dependents, don’t itemize, and make under $100,000 a year or if you file the Form 1040A, you may want to look into free tax filing through the IRS.gov portal. The impact will be more lasting if you do it yourself and the joy will be your reward for figuring out ways to trim your taxes next year because you improved your learning curve and owned your actions.

Free File is a partnership between the IRS and tax software companies. Money is saved, errors are reduced and simplification becomes a beautiful thing. To be eligible to use this program, your adjusted gross income must be $58,000 or less. Participating companies are allowed to have their own criteria, so you’ll need to check out the more than 17 companies rules at www.Freefile.IRS.gov.

The IRS website is actually user friendly and has previously won awards for their easy access to understandable tax information. For terrific videos and meaty articles on tax tips, Google Sandra Block at USA Today.

Oh, and one more very important thing; if you file online and have any tax refund electronically deposited, you can expect to receive your refund in a week’s time. And, for those with smart phones, according to Sandra Block at USA Today, there’s a new free phone app to track your refund status. Sandra says the app, IRS2Go, can be downloaded for free on iPhones and Adroids.

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