6 Free Efile Tax Return Options

Posted by Madison on March 14, 2012

It’s time to efile! Since many tax forms are delayed this year, a lot of taxpayers are just getting their final documents.

And of course, while I’m still waiting on a few more forms, many of you finally have everything you need to e file your tax return.

Let’s check out all the free efile options for your federal return to get your taxes done and on their way to the IRS!

These are great options for those of you who like to do your taxes yourself!

Free EFile Tax Return Options

  1. TurboTax. TurboTax offers a free online edition available at TurboTax Online. The turbo tax efile includes free e-filing for forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. TurboTax is one of the most popular tax software packages around and it integrates with Quicken. I’m planning to use the free TurboTax software to file free tax returns for my kids this year.
  2. H&R Block. H&R Block is offering a free edition if you want to prepare your return online. It also includes free e-filing. I used the H&R Block tax software for many years when it was called TaxCut. The federal efile is available for forms 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. It’s available at H&R Block Free Efile.
  3. TaxAct. You can prepare, print, and e-file your return for free. TaxAct offers an online version or a download version of their software at TaxAct. I used the download version of their software a few years ago, and I was pleased. The selling point for the free Tax Act is the inclusion of Schedule C, for the self employed, in their free tax efile.
  4. IRS Free File. The IRS Free File program is an IRS partnership with various tax software companies offering free filing. There is an income limit of $57,000 or less AGI for the irs.gov efile.
  5. IRS Free File Fillable Forms. The IRS Free File Fillable Forms is not a free tax software, but blank forms. However, there are no income limitations. You pick the forms you need, fill in the numbers, and e-file for free. If you know what you are doing, the IRS efile is a great option!
  6. CompleteTax. You can efile your basic tax return for free at CompleteTax. Like most of the other software packages, they charge additional fees for the state return.

Free Tax Preparation

All of the options to efile taxes free are great. However, if you are like many people, including most of my friends and family, you really just want someone else to prepare and efile taxes for you. The great news is that there are various options for free tax preparation. In addition, these programs usually offer free state efile too.

  • VITA. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free e-filing. You go to your nearest VITA location in person and have a volunteer complete your return. I’ve volunteered in the past; it’s a terrific program. There are also may VITA locations that offer free efiling for military personal. The VITA program targets low to moderate income, but our location did not have any income cutoffs, so it’s worth checking out.
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly. The TCE program provides free tax preparation for those 60 and older. You can call 1-800-829-1040 to find a location near you.

Now that you know all of your options, it’s time to efile!

Get your biggest tax refund, guaranteed. Plus FREE Expert Tax Advice. File your Federal tax return for FREE today with TurboTax!

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Comments to 6 Free Efile Tax Return Options

  1. This is great to have all these listed in one place. Is there a limit on how much you can make and still get the return done for free?

    Mrs. Accountability

  2. @ Mrs. Accountability: The IRS Free File program (4) has an income limit and the VITA program (6) is intended for low- to moderate-income filers. I think you can use all the rest with any income!


  3. Just type in irs.gov for all your free efiling info.


  4. @ Julie: The IRS website is a great resource for free e-filing. However, for those with incomes above $56,000 who want to use a tax preparation software package, they will need to explore other options.

    The first three free e-filing options on the list meet the needs of those filers.


  5. The TaxCut offers 5 free e-files but that is for the single filer who makes mistake in the first return and has to file the second time. This second time repeat e-filing will be free. Catch is, if you file a second tax return for another family memeber, you will have to pay full e-file fee. This second return for another person will not be free in this so called “5-free e-filing”. So beware of this new game this year.


  6. @ Haren: I’m pretty certain that the 5 free e-files you refer to (for the purchased software) do not have to be for the same person.

    The requirement is that they are filed from the same installation. So in my house, we can file 5 different family members returns from one software package all for free.

    If someone makes a mistake, you would just file an amended return.

    If you have seen any documentation otherwise, let me know and I’d be happy to contact the H&R Block representative.


  7. Thank you Madision. I just don’t trust corporate America anymore. I have not bought the Taxcut yet but my brother said on the back of the box it says one free e-file is included. This tells me that they are playing some game. Lets hope not.


  8. @ Haren: I get where you are coming from. You could buy TaxCut before they announced the 5 free e-files. I bet that’s what happened to your brother.

    The good news, according to the H&R Block website, is the key code in his software is now valid for the 5 free e-files. So he should be all set!


  9. It is good to see all of these free options listed together – I am sure it will be helpful to those who are looking to find the best free solution for filing their taxes this year.


  10. I work for H&R Block TaxCut, all of our 2008 software products include 5 free e-files this year. These can be used for anyone.

    Note that if you purchase TaxCut online, it only comes with one e-file. So, if you want/need to file multiple returns, software is the way to go.

    David James
    H&R Block TaxCut

    David James

  11. I love Turbo Tax! Simple to use, easy to set up, and imports well from other programs. I’ve used Turbo Tax for years and love it!

    Grant Baldwin

  12. I just finished my taxes using TAX CUT Premium (State + efile). I’ve been using Tax Cut for years. But this year, I cannot file!! They haven’t finished writing the program. It won’t allow me to file until Feb 11!! And there is no California State available (as of Feb 2). In fact, only 2-of-50 states are available for downloading. This is AWFUL. I have asked for a refund from Tax Cut, and will have to turn to Turbo Tax or another program. I want my refund!!

    D Stevely

  13. I am done with TaxCut! It used to be a friendly and economical software, but now they are baiting you with options that only lead you to more expenses later. But the straw that broke my camel’s back is this: Last year I was tempted to try their Online version (I thought I am saving $20, but wait till you add the state…). Not only was it frustratingly slow, but at the end, I ended up with no back-up except for a PDF copy with a big stamp “Copy” all over it. This year I went back to the software version (Premium version) and guess what? YOU CANNOT IMPORT LAST YEAR’S RETURN FROM THE ONLINE VERSION! Can you believe that?
    No more Taxcut for me. I’d rather pay $20 more and go with the leader.


  14. Thanks for sharing these free filing options! Several of my graduate school friends have been asking me recently the best way to file their 1040ez’s online! I’ll let them know.

    Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey

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