Free tax filing is available online through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including free guidance for qualifying taxpayers. Anyone who doesn’t meet those qualifications – or has a more complicated tax situation – may want to pay for online tax preparation software or a tax professional.

The first step in filing your taxes is determining which option makes sense for you.

Where to file taxes for free

If your tax situation is straightforward enough or if you qualify for free tax filing with guided preparation from the IRS, you should take advantage of it! Head to the IRS Free File site to get started.

Here’s how it works for the 2022 tax year:

  1. If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less: You qualify for a free federal return, guided preparation, tax filing on an IRS partner site, and state tax preparation and filing for select states.
  2. If your adjusted gross income is above $73,000: You can still use free electronic forms on the IRS website, but:You’ll have to file yourself.
    • You’ll have to file yourself.
    • You won’t receive any guidance.
    • State preparation and filing won’t be included.

Note: The adjusted gross income (AGI) threshold is $73,000 for the 2022 tax year, regardless of whether your filing status is single or married filing jointly.

Alternatively, you can spend some money and use one of the more popular DIY tax software tools, like Intuit’s TurboTax or H&R Block. These tools make sense if your tax situation is complicated, you made $73,000 or more in 2022, or you need to file state and local taxes.

These tax software programs make e-filing your taxes super easy since they use a Q&A format that walks you through the process. Paid plans come with more benefits; however, most popular options offer a version that lets users with simple tax returns file for free

If you have a more complex or unique tax situation, consider upgrading to a paid version to ensure you submit everything correctly.

Tax professionals

Sometimes, even paid software can be confusing. To minimize your chances of errors on your tax return, you can go with a certified tax professional.  Search the IRS website with your zip code or state to find a local tax preparer.

Tim Moore

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