If You Make $73k or Less, You Can File Your Federal Taxes for Free

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  • If you make $73,000 or less, you can file your federal taxes online for free.
  • You'll need to use an eligible tax prep partner to avoid paying to file your federal income taxes.

Many taxpayers qualify for free federal tax filing services. Here's what you need to know.

Tax season is stressful for many people. Having to gather all your paperwork, file on time, and potentially owe additional tax money can make the process feel overwhelming.

But did you know you may be able to file your federal taxes for free? If you make $73,000 or less and use an eligible tax prep partner, you can keep more money in your bank account this tax season.

Many tax preparation companies market their easy-to-use tax prep tools at a cost. Even though these programs are convenient, they can get expensive. If you've been paying to file your federal tax return, you may be wasting money.

The IRS Free File program offers resources so eligible taxpayers can file their federal tax returns for free. You'll need to meet the income requirements and use a participating prep partner to take advantage of this money-saving offer.

How to file your federal income taxes for $0

Here's how to file your federal tax return at no cost to you:

  1. Gather all of your tax documents
  2. Visit the IRS Free File program website
  3. Review offers and choose a participating tax prep provider
  4. Click "View This Offer"
  5. Click "Start My Return"

Be sure to review all offer details before beginning your tax return.

Which tax prep companies participate in this program?

There are eight participating tax prep companies:

  • ezTaxReturn
  • Online Taxes at OLT.com
  • TaxAct
  • Free 1040 Tax Return
  • 1040NOW.net
  • FileYourTaxes.com
  • TaxSlayer
  • FreeTaxUSA

We recommend navigating to these providers through the IRS Free File Program to ensure you're accessing the free service.

What about state returns?

Some providers also offer free state filing for eligible taxpayers. This may not be available through all tax prep providers or may only be available to taxpayers in some states. If you need to pay to file a state return, the price to do so will be listed.

What is the income limit?

To qualify for this program, you'll need to have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less. While this is the max income for the IRS Free File program, some tax prep providers may set their own income limits to use their free filing service, which could be lower.

For example: TaxSlayer participates in the IRS Free File program but only offers free federal tax return filing to taxpayers with an AGI of $39,000 or less.

Keep in mind the income limits are for individuals and couples filing jointly. If you make over $73,000 as a married couple filing jointly, you won't be eligible for this program. Be sure to review the requirements for each tax prep provider to make sure you qualify.

What if my AGI is more than $73,000?

If your AGI is greater than $73,000 you can still file your federal return for free. The IRS provides Free File Fillable tax forms available to taxpayers at any income level. With this resource, you can fill out your tax forms online and electronically sign and submit your return. When filing your taxes online, it's a good idea to print out copies of your return for your records.

Start your tax prep early

To avoid missing the federal tax-filing deadline and minimize stress, it's a good idea to begin your tax preparation early. Begin gathering your tax documents and other documentation now and make a plan for how you will file your taxes. If you qualify for free federal tax filing, you'll save some money. Don't forget to file a state return.

If you're expecting a tax refund this year, putting extra money into an online savings account is an excellent way to be prepared for future financial needs. You never know when you'll need to pay for an unexpected expense.

Check out our personal finance resources for additional tips and advice.

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