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Tax Filing Options & Tips Round-Up

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Just a Reminder…

Tax Time will be here before we know it! So here’s a round up of a few tax filing options and FREE software programs that you may want to take advantage of. In addition, I would love for all of you to share any tips that you may have learned throughout the years!


Online - H&R Block At Home Online Free Edition

* Head on over here where you can file completely FREE with H&R Block At Home that also now includes FREE live tax advice. It is FREE to prepare, FREE to print, FREE to e-file, includes FREE live tax advice, FREE audit support, representation from an enrolled agent, and 100% Accuracy Guarantee and Maximum Refund Guarantee. Plus 1 FREE federal e-file is included.

* Head over here to sign up for a FREE Federal edition of Turbo Tax (you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your federal tax return for free). If you need a more customizable version, consider purchasing TurboTax Deluxe Federal + E-File + State 2012 from Amazon.com for only $39.99 + Free Shipping.

* Or consider using FreeTaxUSA.com, TaxSlayer.com or TaxAct.com (all have been highly recommended by Hip2Save readers in the past!)

More Tax-Filing Tips:

* Head over to IRS.gov to file your federal taxes for free (this should be available later in January)

* Check the daily deal sites… Groupon has offered up significantly reduced vouchers for online tax preparation products in the past and will likely have similar offers over the next few months.

* Check with your local college. One reader reported that the accounting students at her local college will do her tax returns for free and they are then reviewed by the professor to ensure that they are correct.

* AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free help for older taxpayers and people with limited incomes. Find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site in your community by clicking here.

* If you are in the military, check out Military One Source for more information about different resources that are available. Active Duty Military can file for free with TaxSlayer.com and with e-Smart Tax by Liberty Tax.

Save a buck in these similar categories:

Spread the word on a great deal:

30 Hip Readers Commented

  • Gina says:

    Before you use online tax tools ask your friends/family to recommend a good accountant. My husband and I pay $125 for our accountant to review our somewhat complicated return (I’m self-employed), and it has saved us so much money. Unless you have a super simple return, spend the money on an accountant. The upfront cost is minimal compared to how much more we’ve been able to get back.

  • Nicole says:

    also check Chase.com/taxes for a discount on TurboTax.

    • Emily says:

      Thank you Nicole…I might try that.

    • cathycampo says:

      In the fine print, it is says this is the price
      The 2013 TurboTax Online offer is as follows: $10 off Deluxe version (regularly $49.95), $15 off Premier version (regularly $74.95) and $20 off Home & Business version (regularly $99.95).
      So if you usually use Deluxe, it would be the same at chase.com or amazon.com

  • Emily says:

    Has anybody used any of these versions? Can you give a helpful review or tip? We are doing our own taxes this year and I haven’t done them since being married…so I would love any help in deciding which program to use. Thanks!

  • Emily says:

    Gina, I am thinking that is probably true…We were hoping to save the $125 this year…but maybe we will just go with our accountant. Still deciding.

  • Kristina says:

    I’ve used Turbo Tax for the past 4 years, pretty easy to keep using them since my info is all auto filled in! BUT I think I am going to try H&R Blocks at home. Wonder id they also Charge a fee to do the State taxes??

    • Nichole says:

      Says Free Fed e-file… so I assume when it doesn’t say free state e-file, it won’t be free. Otherwise, it should be advertised since pretty much no one charges a free state e-file. I have to file my AZ state income tax the hard way -in excel, then print and mail, just to save like $40. But it makes me paranoid I’m doing something wrong since there’s minimal help along the way.

  • Crys Jo says:

    If you live in IL you can file your state taxes for FREE on the department of revenue website: http://www.revenue.state.il.us

  • RG :) says:

    We have used Turbo Tax for years with no problems. The only problems that happened occurred when I didn’t use it!
    Every year, I compare prices and the cheapest is always the discount offered through Vanguard. My credit union also has a discount. So, I recommend checking with all of your banking and financial institutions where you have a relationship and seeing if they offer discounts.

  • Kim B says:

    If you are a member of State Farm bank (have an account, a loan, etc…), you can get Turbo Tax federal for free. I have a friend who opened an account there a few years ago. Put $100 in it once and gets Turbo tax free every year since then. :) He just told me about it, I might try it myself this year…then do the free state of lllinois file.

  • Rob says:

    I’m an accountant in NY, and in my opinion online tax tools are good if you have a VERY simple return or if you have a basis in tax knowledge. Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble.

  • Heather Martin says:

    Another option, at least in Ohio, for families that make less than $60,000/year is the Ohio Benefit Bank. It’s free for both Federal and State taxes and it can be directly deposited. If you would be more comfortable having someone do your taxes you can look at the Ohio Benefit Bank site and find a location close to you offering taxes through this program for free. I have used this service for the last 2 years and I’ve always gotten my refund quickly, and it’s simple to use. The average length of time for refunds is 10 days, and better yet, there are no fees!

  • Chuck Finley says:

    We have used TaxAct for the last 6 or 7 years, and we think its easy to use. However, this year we noticed that it seems that they no longer show you the state Total on your return. We would use this state total to at least have a number to check with when we do Our state since that one is not free to file. This has made me want to find an alternative—
    What do you suggest?

    Which ones Show the return $ amount numbers at least for both state and federal-? Taxact used to, but it doesnt seem like they show the state anymore–

    ideas?

  • We usually do our taxes ourselves – well use TurboTax but our return is more complicated- 2 home based businesses, new home owners… we are paying an accountant for sure!

    • Gerald says:

      You don’t need an accountant…the tax software includes a the questions you need to answer for people who own their own business, own rental property, have retirement accounts or investments…get it done yourself and trust turbotax’s guarantee.

  • mady says:

    i have used freetaxusa for a few years and it’s great. at the top it keeps a running tally of your expected refunds (fed and state). if you want to try it out, you can fill out the info, see what your expected return is, and you don’t even have to click submit at the end if you’re unsure or want to get a 2nd opinion. freetaxusa is free to file federal, and i think it’s $9.95 to file state (at least for MO). my husband and i are self-employed with kids and have no problem working through the forms online.

  • Michelle says:

    I recommend going through the state website and checking out what they have to offer. I learned the hard way a couple years ago and did the federal free but then had to pay $15 to file the state. Last year I went through the state website (Iowa) and they had about 5 different options depending what category you fit in (income or getting EIC, etc). It was totally free, but if you do the federal free first, you can’t do the state seperate for free.

  • Jeannette says:

    Just a note: IRS will not begin processing most returns until 30 January this year (returns that include Residential Energy Credits or Depreciation will be further delayed) and from what I’ve heard refunds are expected to be delayed as well (21 days as opposed to 8-15 days in prior years). Use the Where’s My Refund tool on IRS.gov to track status.
    Info about delays:
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Plans-Jan.-30-Tax-Season-Opening-For-1040-Filers

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