6 Ways to File Your 2021 Taxes for Free

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  • Several tax software offer free versions that you can use.
  • Eligible taxpayers can use the IRS Free File program.
  • You may qualify for certain free programs based on your income, age, or service history.

You may be able to save money by filing your 2021 taxes for free.

It's tax season, which means now is the time to gather important tax documents and start your returns. If you're stressing out about the taxes you might owe, you're likely also thinking about the cost of tax preparation fees. But you may be able to skip paying these fees.

Many taxpayers qualify for free tax-filing services. If you're looking to avoid extra expenses right now, you should check to see if you're eligible for one of these programs. Here are six options that can help you file your 2021 taxes for free.

1. Use free online tax software

Don't rush to pay for tax software. First, take the time to research free software options. Many tax software companies offer free software. There may be eligibility requirements in place to qualify for these free programs, so review the requirements before beginning your taxes.

Here are some companies that offer free versions of their tax software:

  • TurboTax
  • TaxSlayer
  • H&R Block
  • Cash App Taxes
  • FreeTax USA

Review our best free tax software list to learn more about each program.

2. IRS Free File

The IRS Free File program is available to taxpayers who meet the income requirements. You qualify if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $73,000 or less. Keep in mind this income limit is the same for both individuals and couples filing jointly.

The IRS partners with tax preparation companies to offer free federal returns to eligible taxpayers. Review the participating companies and choose the program that fits your needs.

While the program as a whole is available to those with an AGI of $73,000 or less, some participating companies set lower income limits for their free software. Be sure to look into the specific details for each company before you begin your return.

This program promises free federal returns to those who qualify. Some companies may also provide a free state return. However, not all companies offer a free state return.

3. Use online tax forms

If your AGI is above $73,000 and you still want to take advantage of free tax-filing services, the IRS offers another option. You can use its Free File Fillable Forms to handle your taxes. With this tool, you can fill out tax forms online and electronically sign and file your return at no cost.

This is a good choice for taxpayers who feel confident doing their own taxes. Unlike other online tax resources, you won't be guided through the tax preparation process. If you aren't confident in handling your return alone, you may want to consider a different resource.

4. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The free tax preparation options don't end there. Another resource available to qualifying taxpayers is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This IRS program provides resources throughout the country to help those who need tax assistance, including:

  1. Households with an income of $58,000 or less
  2. People with disabilities
  3. Taxpayers with limited English-speaking abilities

Volunteers help prepare and file returns for free. All volunteers are trained and know the latest tax changes. If you're interested in using this service, you can locate a VITA site in your area.

5. MilTax

Active duty U.S. military members can utilize MilTax. This tax preparation software is available to military members through the Department of Defense and Military OneSource.

One feature that sets MilTax apart from other tax resources for military members is that it was created to address military life tax situations.

If you're a current military member, you can use MilTax to file your federal return and up to three state returns for free. You can also get support via online chat or by phone.

6. Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

For seniors who need help with their taxes, the IRS also runs the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. Individuals aged 60 and older can get free tax guidance and filing assistance. Volunteers are available country-wide. You can review participating volunteer organizations to find a TCE site in your community.

Before you begin your taxes, check to see if you qualify for free tax preparation services. You may be able to avoid paying expensive tax-filing fees. If you'd like to research additional tax software options, check out our list of best tax software.

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