Whether you hire a professional to prepare your tax return or use a tax software service, filing your tax returns can be costly. The cost is often higher for those who are self-employed, own rental properties, need to file investment return information, or need to claim certain deductions and credits, as these circumstances require additional nuances for the process. Additionally, most tax filing software charges fees for both federal and state filings.
FreeTaxUSA is one of the few options on the market that reduces the cost of filing your federal taxes. Users only have to pay to file state returns, making tax season much more affordable. Below, CNBC Select breaks down some key features and considerations for FreeTaxUSA so you can decide if it’s the right service to try this year.
On the secure site of FreeTaxUSA
Assistance from tax experts
FreeTaxUSA offers four main self-declaration options: Basic, Advanced, Premium, and Self-Employed.
The basic option is for filing simple tax returns and includes step-by-step guidance. The advanced level is more for filers who are homeowners and have tax credits and deductions to claim, such as the earned income credit.
The last two levels are intended for registrants with more complex needs. In particular, the Premium option is best for you if you need to file rental income or investment information. It’s also best for you if you sold your home in 2022 and need to file tax information related to the sale.
The last option – the Self-Employed tier – is ideal for people who are not W-2 employees and who earn their income through freelance or contract work, or who are small business owners.
Despite their names, all levels are free for federal tax filing.
Professional tax filing options
While step-by-step guidance is offered in the auto-deposit options, those who prefer live human assistance can upgrade to the Deluxe level. With the Deluxe upgrade, users can chat with tax professionals and get ahead of the queue with priority online support. Additionally, Deluxe users can deposit an unlimited number of tax changes at no additional cost.
With the Pro Support upgrade, users can speak to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) over the phone. Users can also schedule virtual meetings for personal tax advice and share their screens while getting help.
FreeTaxUSA The biggest advantage over most competitors is that it doesn’t charge anything to file your federal tax returns. It also offers a maximum refund guarantee, where it will refund your purchase and give you a code for a free amended tax return if you get a larger tax refund elsewhere (i.e. using different tax return). Additionally, FreeTaxUSA provides a 100% Calculation Accuracy Guarantee, which promises reimbursement of penalties and interest resulting from a calculation error.
All of FreeTaxUSA’s self-filing options (Basic, Advanced, Premium, and Self-employed) are free to file federal tax returns, but it costs $14.99 to file your state taxes.
FreeTaxUSA’s Deluxe option costs just $7.99, while the Pro version costs $49.99.
There are also optional add-ons, such as Unlimited Amended Returns for $15.98 (included with the Deluxe Plan), Mail-Printed Returns for $7.97, and Professional Tax Returns for $15.99.
For a fee of $24.99, FreeTaxUSA lets you pay nothing upfront by having the cost of your order deducted from your tax refund.
Filers can create an online account to file their taxes through the FreeTaxUSA website. Unlike many of its competitors, FreeTaxUSA does not offer a mobile app.
Information you submit through the FreeTaxUSA website is encrypted to ensure its security. However, you can further strengthen this protection by adding multi-factor authentication (MFA). In addition to finding a password, you can strengthen your login process by having a PIN sent to you by text, voice call, or email, or by having a one-time password sent to you through an app. authentication.
FreeTaxUSA is quite affordable compared to other tax filing services in the market, as it does not charge for filing federal tax returns. However, it does charge for filing state returns. Competitors like H&R block And TurboTax There are also fees for filing state returns, so unless you live in a state with no income tax, here are some other free filing options that many people are considering.
IRS Free File
IRS Free File is designed by the IRS to provide individuals with a free online tax filing service. It offers step-by-step tax preparation for federal tax returns and some state returns. Just keep in mind that to use Free File, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be $73,000 or less.
On the secure Cash App site
Assistance from tax experts
CashApp Taxes (formerly known as Credit Karma Tax) is one of the few filing services that offers no upgrade options, making it easy to meet the basics at no cost to the filer. It costs $0 to file federal and state taxes using this app. Audit defense is also included for free.
TaxMil is designed specifically for military personnel, veterans and their families. The online software is provided by Military OneSource and if you are eligible to use it, you can electronically file your federal income tax return, as well as up to three state returns, for free.
Important tax dates
When are taxes due?
The deadline to file your 2022 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Taxpayers affected by the storms in California, Alabama and Georgia have until October 16, 2023 to file their returns.
What is the deadline for filing tax corrections?
Amended tax returns must be filed by April 18, 2023.
When can you expect to receive your tax refund?
Taxpayers should expect receive their 2022 tax refund within 21 days of submitting their return, according to the IRS. Remember, to get the fastest refund, you should also file your claim electronically and choose to receive your refund by direct deposit. You should also avoid problems such as inaccuracies or incomplete information.
FreeTaxUSA takes a fairly simple approach to tax filing compared to its competitors. The biggest plus is that it doesn’t charge for federal tax filing – and even the $14.99 it charges per state filing is still relatively affordable compared to its competitors.
Customer support is limited and you’ll have to pay extra for support via live chat or phone, but if saving on filing your taxes is your priority, this is still a very solid option for you.
Filers seeking in-person assistance may consider H&R block as it has more than 11,000 locations and registrants can also drop off their documents and pick them up when completed.
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Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.