The 2021 Tax Filing Season Began February 12th | Learn the 7 Best Ways to File for FREE!
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Tax season is coming! Check out these easy-to-use tax programs and file for FREE!
The Internal Revenue Service announced that the 2021 tax season would start on Friday, February 12, 2021. That is the date that the IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
The February 12th start date allows the IRS time to update its systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments. These updates will ensure that eligible taxpayers can receive any outstanding stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Without these updates in place, there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers.
Although last year’s tax filing deadline was extended until July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s currently no indication that will happen again this year. So don’t wait! This year, the IRS is urging taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need.
Below, we’re sharing a list of FREE electronic tax filing programs that are quick and easy to use, so you can check income tax filing off your to-do list in the most painless way possible!
Hip Tip: Although the IRS typically issues more than 90% of federal tax refunds within 21 days of accepting them, sometimes it can take longer than that to receive your money.
TurboTax is easy to use from the comfort of your home. They will help you find every deduction and credit you qualify for, and their comprehensive review before filing helps to ensure nothing gets missed!
TurboTax is now allowing taxpayers to file federal and state tax returns completely FREE with TurboTax Free Edition. For those who need to upgrade to more advanced tax preparation software, check out their Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed online filing programs!
Hip Tip: When you file your 2020 tax return with TurboTax by April 15, you can earn 1,000 Rapid Rewards Southwest Points!
Consider using FreeTaxUSA.com to e-file your Federal return directly with the IRS, and you can choose from their Simple, Basic, or Advanced filing programs – all for free! Add a state return for just $12.95.
Hip Tip: This site has been highly recommended by our Hip2Save readers for its easy-to-use platform and no-nonsense pricing!
Filing with Credit Karma Tax is as FREE as it gets! Head on over to Credit Karma’s site to get started with your free federal AND state return. And if you filed with another tax prep software last year, you can take advantage of their Jumpstart service to import last year’s return from H&R Block, TurboTax, or TaxAct.
Hip Tip: Don’t fear an audit! You’re covered by Credit Karma’s 100% free Audit Defense as they guarantee 100% accuracy with their calculations.
File your federal income tax return through e-Smart Tax by Liberty Tax completely FREE. E-Smart Tax technology ensures you get your highest possible refund and they offer a simple step-by-step Q&A preparation, along with support available via chat, email, social media, and in-person at 2,500+ offices (though you’ll want to call ahead for the safety guidelines when visiting in-person).
Head over to TaxACT to sign up for a FREE federal and FREE state edition of their software. Then, you’ll be able to prepare, print, and electronically file your tax return for free!
More Hip tips for finding free and easy Tax-Filing programs:
- If your income is $72,000 or less, you can head directly to IRS.gov and file your federal taxes for free!
- Check the daily deal sites. Groupon has offered up significantly reduced vouchers for online tax preparation products in the past, and they will likely have similar offers throughout the 2021 tax season.
- Ask your local college or university. One reader reported that the accounting students at her local college will complete tax returns for free. They’re then reviewed by the professor to ensure accuracy.
- The 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 visiting the AARP website.
- If you’re in the military, check out Military One Source for more information about different tax filing resources available.
- Check for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites near you. Those who generally make less than $57,000 per year, persons with disabilities, limited English speaking taxpayers, and the elderly may qualify for assistance through the VITA and TCE Programs. 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 visiting the IRS tax prep website.