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Check Out These Easy-To-Use Tax Programs to File For FREE

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lina working on taxes with shocked look on her face

Why spend money to get money?

Another year, another tax filing season. Tax Day’ll be here before you know it! Luckily, we have some easy programs that let you file for FREE so you can tackle tax prep simply (and without opening your wallet).

File for FREE with H&R Block – even with deductions.

Head over to H&R Block where you can file your taxes online for FREE! Their free online tax filing includes twice as many forms as Turbo Tax includes child & dependent care expenses, student loan interest deduction, tuition and fees statement, and health coverage exemptions.

Hip Tip: Prefer to use the H&R Block Software? Get it for 50% off with this deal from Newegg!

With Turbo Tax, both State AND Federal are FREE!

TurboTax is allowing taxpayers to file Federal (1040A or 1040 EZ) AND State tax returns completely FREE with TurboTax Free Edition. For those who need to upgrade to more advanced tax preparation software, they’re currently offering their Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed online filing programs for up to $30 off!

Hip Tip: When you file with TurboTax, you can score a bonus 1,000 Rapid Rewards Southwest Points and a FREE Credit Score check. (And after taxes, you may just need a vacay.)

Get advanced features at no extra cost with FreeTax USA.

Consider using to e-file your Federal return directly to the IRS, and you can choose from their Simple, Basic, or Advanced filing programs – all for free! Add a state return for only $12.95.

Hip Tip: This site has been highly recommended by our Hip2Save readers for its easy to use platform and no-nonsense pricing!

Surprise filing fees? Not with Credit Karma Tax.

Filing with Credit Karma Tax is as FREE as it gets! Head 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.

Get even more back with TaxAct’s $100 Bonus!

Head over to TaxACT to sign up for a FREE Federal and FREE State edition of their software where you’ll be able to prepare, print, and electronically file your federal tax return for free. They’re even offering a bonus when you opt to receive part of your refund on a gift card.

Hip Tip: If you’re a KeyBank member, they’ll cover the cost of filing your taxes with TaxAct! Get more information at the Key Bank website.

eSmart Tax features simple and FREE filing.

File through e-Smart Tax by Liberty Tax to e-file your Federal return 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 FREE chat support. State returns are available as well starting at $29.99.

Hip Tip: Get online or in-person help with more than 4,000 Liberty Tax offices open year round!

Get gift cards for filing your taxes through Tax Slayer.

File your Federal AND State return for FREE when you use the TaxSlayer Simply Free plan. You can also get a refund advance up to $1,000 with their Tax Slayer Refund Advance program and low pricing on their advanced filing software.

Hip Tip: You can participate in TaxPerks by earning points when you file your taxes and refer friends, then redeem the points for gift cards!

calculator and a pencil and paper

More Tax-Filing Tips:

Head to to file your federal taxes for free (income must be below $66,000).

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 then they’re reviewed by the professor to ensure 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 visiting the AARP website.

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

Check for VITA-assisted filing. Families that earned less than $54,000 in 2018, 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 visiting the IRS tax prep website.

Love getting things for FREE? Check out our Freebies page!

Join The Discussion

Comments 21

  1. A

    My husband works for the city as a police officer and they always wait until the last day to give us our W-2. It is so stinkin frustrating especially when trying to plan a family vacation before all the deals are gone.

    • Pinkrazrbrd3

      We just got ours now just waiting on forms from both insurances which they said could be middle of feb

      • A

        We have insurance forms through the VA and work, but most of the time you do not have to have them to file taxes. It is really proof that you have insurance.

        • Pinkrazrbrd3

          Ours says our taxes could be withheld longer until the irs obtains proof of insurance or some crap like that not trying to get into trouble also we had to pay for the upgrade for turbo tax because we had student loan interest forms and it wasn’t free on the free edition

      • GaGa

        Correct, you do not need to submit insurance forms to file.

  2. Judy Trac

    I get mine for free anyway

  3. Angela

    FYI if you have income below $55,000 you can go to a VITA site, which is free tax prep run by IRS trained volunteers.

  4. Ashley

    Thank you! Very helpful information! I have used Turbo Tax for years but it seems to cost more each year!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Ashley! Glad this list was helpful! My hubby usually uses H&R block for us each year.

  5. Rebecca

    We use the free H&R Block every year. We have simple returns though: W-2, student loan interest form and interest from savings. We don’t have to file state returns.

  6. Daniela

    I always do Free Tax USA – it is super basic and easy to understand and includes state for a lot less than other places. Plus I go through Swag or ebates for 25% cash back. I was thinking of doing the Tax Act bonus gift card deal but their website was very complicated, had numerous pop ups recommending signing up for off line services and kept increasing the price of my filing after each page I clicked through. That annoys me. If I start filing as basic and say no to the first upgrade to deluxe, don’t ask again. I closed out and went back to Free Tax.

  7. Em

    FYI, the free Turbo Tax no longer allows you to add your student loan interest. Now you must upgrade to deluxe and pay. I used the free H&R Block and was able to file my W2 and student loan interest with no problems!

    • Heather

      I moved to Credit Karma last year for that exact reason. Credit Karma is completely free and easy to use.

  8. Hannah

    I love Credit Karma.. Have used it for the past two years. I love that it feels like I’m taking a quiz instead of filing taxes!

  9. A.B.

    Lina, your expression is so cute in this photo, it made me smile!

  10. RMS is what I used last year. It’s a partnership with United Way AND H&R Block. It is completely free to file both your federal and state return so long as you made less than $66,000. (in the past I have used other “free” services only to find out that once I put everything in, I had to PAY for a state return.)

  11. belinda

    this is deceiving…start for free pay only when you file????…doesn’t sound free to me…:(

  12. ianyue

    As a VITA volunteer, I would encourage any qualifying taxpayer who needs in-person help to check us (or the AARP service) out. Our services are available across the U.S., and all volunteer tax preparers pass an IRS certification test annually to ensure we’re up to date on our tax law training.

    For those who don’t qualify or want to do taxes on your own, here are my suggestions:

    • I *ALWAYS* advise people to start with IRS Free File (, the first link under “More Tax-Filing Tips” above). If you qualify, you’ll be able to access free or low-cost versions of tax software (including those from TurboTax and H&R Block) that you can’t access otherwise. Also, as RMS mentioned above, is a great way to access H&R’s Premium Program for free, if you qualify.
    • Credit Karma Tax and DIY Tax (aka, a service of Liberty Tax) are the only free programs I’ve found that will allow you to file personal income taxes without either income qualifications or an “upsell”. Both have their limitations on what forms they support, however, and they also have their downsides: Credit Karma Tax calculated my tax return incorrectly two years ago (they hopefully have improved since then) and DIY Tax can be buggy and user-unfriendly in its interface. Still, I know plenty of people who have used both software programs successfully.
    • My absolute favorite program is FreeTaxUSA (mentioned by Daniella above), aka TaxHawk. While the program interface is not as facilitative as other tax programs, for those who are familiar with how a tax return works, the flexibility and rigorousness of the program is unparalleled. You can jump around the tax return easily, preview worksheets and forms the software is filling out, and see from the summary page how your tax and refund numbers are being crunched. Unfortunately, many tax filers won’t be able to file both federal and state for free using FreeTaxUSA/TaxHawk, but they are an option using IRS Free File. Regardless, you can always use the program as an “accuracy” check, even if you don’t file with it.
    • Finally, if you don’t qualify for IRS Free File, the IRS and many state Departments of Revenue offer free fillable forms on their websites. Pursuing this option will require some knowledge of your tax return, but it’s still another free option.

  13. J Elena

    I received a 1099-G from the Dept of Labor stating I received unemployment benefits last year, but I didn’t. I had a job. It’s so frustrating because I can’t get anyone on the phone and I can’t prove I DIDN’T receive anything, I can only prove I would have received something. Looks like I’ll probably have to eat it. The worst part is I lost my job on Friday and I need to file for unemployment and this will make it all the more confusing.

    • Errr

      If you had a job that paid with regular frequency, there is your proof. You would get unemployment benefits for the weeks you had no earned income. So if you showed you had earned income from your job, and it shows consistent pay, not only did you ACTUALLY not receive pay, but you would not have even QUALIFIED to have received pay. I’d fight this one-I work too hard to have to pay for someone’s ineptitude.

  14. Mama6

    I used FreeTaxUSA for the first time this year for our taxes and then for my son’s as well. I was suspicious that the tax program I used last year was not correct in calculating our deductions. FreeTaxUSA is the most simple program I have ever used. Literally, painless 🙂 I will be going back to run our last years taxes through their program as well and I expect to amend them. Thank you for your informative post.

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