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Tax Filing Options & Tips

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Tax Time

It’s that time of year again! 😐 As I mentioned previously, Tax Day (Monday, April 18th this year) will be here before you know it, so here’s a round-up of a few current tax filing and preparation packages that you may want to take advantage of. Also feel free to share your favorite method and any discounts or tips that you may know of!

Current Tax Filing Options (more added!):

RushCard* The Prepaid Visa RushCard is a card that is safe to use online and in stores everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Whenever you apply for a Prepaid Visa RushCard and direct deposit a total of $3,000 or more of your tax refund, you’ll get $30. Or, when you direct deposit between $2,000 and $2,999, you’ll get $20! Even sweeter, they’re offering ZERO fees to use now until February 29th! Plus, use a RushCard to file your 2015 refund and get it up to 2 weeks sooner through direct deposit.

E-File* Get your refund as fast as possible with an e-filed return and direct deposit! E-file.com (rated B+ with the Better Business Bureau!) offers Free federal tax returns for those who qualify for a 1040ez. Plus, get Free online support! Go here for details.

TurboTax

* TurboTax is allowing users to file Federal (1040A or 1040 EZ) AND State tax returns completely FREE with the TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Plus, they’re offering 20% off TurboTax Online Federal products. To get started, head over here where you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your Federal AND State tax returns for FREE! Plus, TurboTax is the #1 best selling tax software and is rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!

H&R

* Head on over here where you can file completely FREE with H&R Block (and save 40% off other tax-preparation packages). It is FREE to prepare, FREE to print, FREE to e-file, includes FREE live tax advice, FREE in-person audit support, representation from an enrolled agent, and 100% Accuracy Guarantee and Maximum Refund Guarantee. And, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau!

FREETAXUSA

* Consider using FreeTaxUSA.com (Rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!) to e-file directly to the IRS completely FREE. You can choose to do a FREE Federal e-file OR score the Deluxe Edition for $5.95. This site has also been highly recommended by Hip2Save readers in the past!

TaxAct

* Head over here to sign up for a FREE Federal + FREE State edition of TaxACT (you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your federal tax return for free). Plus, they’re rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!

Tax Prep

* You may also consider using e-Smart Tax by Liberty Tax to e-file completely free. E-Smart Tax technology ensures you get your highest possible refund as well as simple step-by-step Q&A preparation, Zero hidden fees, Online or in-person help with more than 4,000 Liberty Tax offices open year round and more!


More Tax-Filing Tips:

H&R Block

* 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.

* Head over to IRS.gov to file your federal taxes for free

* 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.

Tax Prep Military

* If you are in the military, check out Military One Source for more information about different resources that are available.

* 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.

* Families that earned less than $54,000 in 2015, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers may qualify for assistance through the VITA Program. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Find a VITA Volunteer site in your community by clicking here.


Collin founded Hip2Save in 2008 and has over 10 years experience as a deals and lifestyle editor, strategist, and creative copywriter. She is debt-free and has been featured in Parents Magazine, Today.com and MSNBC. Connect with Collin on LinkedIn


Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. Laura

    FreetaxUSA is Great! They are super user friendly and you can view your previous years return side by side with the current year to make sure that everything looks as it should. Highly recommend them!

    • Jennifer

      I second what Laura said. It is super easy to use.

  2. 4Ella

    I been using TaxAct for years and love it, it is free and easy to use. Because of my small business i have to pay $42 but still great. I do taxes for my friends and because they have regular jobs their tax filling is free.

    • K

      I second this! We use TaxAct and have to pay for the Plus version but it’s still only $25 for both federal and state. Very user friendly. We used to use Turbo Tax until a few years ago but they wanted to charge $75!! I know they’re not supposed to be different but for some reason when I entered the same exact info into TaxAct it gave me an extra $1000 on my refund! So we’ll always stick with TaxAct.

    • ❤️mylineman

      I third it! (If there is such a thing!) lol we love tax act it’s so easy to use especially how it takes you thru all the life event and stuff!! We’ve always done well on it and we buy the extra audit protections from them as well! Definitely recommend it!

  3. Elizabeth M

    I have coupon for h&r block, its $25 off, BUT for new clients only!! Can email to you, lizmac21@yahoo.com

  4. Jennifer

    Has anyone ever used the United Way? I thought about calling for my Dad.

    • Mrs. Waller

      I used UW years ago when I was in college. My refund was pretty simple, but all of the volunteers were very helpful and knowledgeable.

  5. denise

    We have used turbo tax for 5 years now super easy and have had no problems

  6. Ryan

    Love the free money for Amazon through h&r block!!!

  7. Darcey

    I have used efile for the last 5 years and love it. Here is a coupon code they sent me: 1eGift20

  8. TS

    I got my return already. Thanks to my uncle who does my taxes for free but before that we used turbo tax and then we used hr block. Both were good but I thought turbo tax was a lot easier to follow and understand.

  9. Samuel

    Im married but we separated now so this year i will file married but separately. Any advice on which form, which software should I use? TIA

  10. Ashley57

    I have used TaxAct two years in a row. Before that I used TurboTax and then saw how much cheaper TaxAct was. Mine is $14.99 because I have a rental property.

  11. Rachel

    I was taught to do my taxes paper and pencil by my mom years ago. Now I use freefilefillableforms to file online. I just can’t stand to pay anything to file! I feel confident with filing myself, but sometimes wonder if I’m missing out on something. Is there something i could try just to compare with what I come up with on my own?

    • Amber

      Taxslayer.com is what I have used for years. You don’t pay until you submit so you can you the guide to see what other deductions you might qualify for.

      • K

        Also turbo tax and h&r block. You don’t pay until you file.

    • 4Ella

      TaxAct is the same thing you don’t pay till you file. You can play with it and change as much as you need and whatever you need.

      • Rachel

        Thank you. Maybe I’ll try that this year!!

  12. Gina

    H &R block online edition is perfect. ONLY $34.99 and I’m already got my refund after ONLY few days on my bank account $)

  13. Dee

    For tax info organization, I purchased my supplies from the Dollar Tree. I got a binder, dividers, even plastic sheets for smaller receipts! We itemize, and it helps a ton!

  14. spedtch95

    My friend used Liberty Tax last year and just found out yesterday they did her taxes very, very wrong and now owes the IRS almost $8,000. Beware for sure!

    I tried Turbo Tax last year, thought the numbers seemed off. I scrounged up enough money to use my CPA. The difference between Turbo Tax and using my CPA was $800 in my favor! I will always use a real CPA from now on. And I don’t own a business or even have a complicated tax return!

  15. Numberspin

    Using the “free” tax sites is often the expensive way to go. If you purchase theTurbo Tax software for $30 to download or install on your computer, not only are you entitled to 5 free e-files, but you also own your documents on your own computer or storage device and have FREE access to them then ever you need it for FAFSA or home loan applications or filing an amended return.

  16. Little Nancy

    Does anyone know if this is good for my hubby who has a W2 and I’m a 1099. Our CPA said he charges $200, which is just too much but I’ve never done my taxes on my own.

    • Numberspin

      You need to clarify 1099-R or 1099-MISC. 1099-MISC requires filing Schedule C and determination of business expenses as well as self-employment taxes.

      • Little Nancy

        I’m a 1099 misc.

    • Misti

      Try TaxAct. turbo tax charges for doing 1099

  17. Kelly

    We got our taxes done at h&r block. They were going to charge us 350$ and then on top of that you can pay an OPTIONAL insurace fee of 35$ that will cover up to 6,000$ if they make an error or if there becomes a “software discrepancy” between what they calculate and what the government find you owe. I’m mad that all the money you pay for them to do them doesn’t cover that to begin with!

  18. Jessica

    A few years ago my husband and I were curious as to whether doing it ourselves versus a CPA would be better. I typed everything into turbo tax but i didn’t pay/file anything. We sat down with a CPA and they got us $700 more than what the refund would have been using turbo tax. My husband owns a S-corp and so now we always pay taxes versus get a refund but at least I don’t have to worry with the burden of doing them.

  19. Mona C

    I paid premium filing with H&R block for federal and state total was $72. Used my amex card for amex offer of get $15 back when you spend $60. So it’s like paying $57.

    And since it’s premium, you have the option to redeem your federal refund with amazon or target gift cards. The awesome thing about redeeming for gc’s is they give you a 10% bonus (5% if your filing basic). So our $4500 refund became $4950!!!! A bonus of $450!!

    I’m planning to redeem amazon and target gc’s since these gc’s are like cash to me. I LOVE HR BLOCK!!!!

  20. Becky

    My husband is a CPA and owns a firm in a small town. He charges approximately $200 per return since he recently opened the business 3 years ago and is trying to grow it. He has been doing taxes for almost 20 years and knows his stuff. Support small businesses and use a CPA. Totally worth the money to have it done right and get the best results. And if the IRS comes knocking, you won’t be liable, they are. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  21. Sarah

    My husband used to be an accountant for the government and we have always had pretty good returns with a tip that idk how many people use. We get more money back every year because when we have taxes taken out of our paycheck we file as married but withhold at a higher single rate (filing jointly). So they take more out of our paycheck upfront to get a higher amount in taxes back. We end up being able to save money so much easier. We put quite a bit in our 401k yearly and have 2 kids so this year for state and federal we got over $11,500 back in NY. Every year we put $1,000 in each of our kids college accounts, money to save for a house, vacation money, Christmas for next year, and our main savings account that we add to throught the year. By doing this we don’t even miss the money being taxed out of our paychecks and by the time our kids go to college they will have $18,000 without us even breaking a sweat.

  22. love2deal

    Question for an accountant that coupons… Can I write off all the things I coupon for that I donate? I stock a closet at temple and at a local school with items for needy people to take for free. Almost everything is paid for with coupons. Can I write off the total retail value or only what I actually paid?

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