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Find Free Tax Filing Sites for Federal and California State Tax Returns

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With the April deadline looming large, free tax filing ads loom larger. Whether you see ads for Turbo Tax, Tax Act, or other tax filing software advertising efile to prospective customers, remember to read the fine print and sign up only for the real free online tax filing opportunities.
Free Tax Filing for Federal Taxes with the Help of the IRS
Is your adjusted gross income $56,000 or less? If so, the IRS will help you find a free tax filing company. Read the fine print, because even though the companies the IRS will suggest — after plugging in a few bits of information – offers free federal tax filing, they may still charge for the state filing.
Free Online Tax Filing for Federal Tax Returns from Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax offers free efile included in each of their packages, but will charge for the state tax return. What is more, Turbo Tax offers a free online tax filing edition for a very basic federal return only. Known as the Turbo Tax Free Edition, it supports forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ; schedules A, B, and EIC, as well as a number of ancillary forms and schedules.
Free Tax Filing and efile from Tax Act
Preparing, printing, and efiling of your online tax return are free. State tax returns are cheap at only $13.95 with the free edition, and included in the highest for-pay federal edition. Compare Tax Act online tax filing packages, and pay only for the package that meets your needs.
Free Form 1040 and free efile in English and en EspaƱol for Taxpayers with Income Between $11,000 and 56,000
Finding free online tax filing software in Spanish is difficult. The IRS listed Online Tax Pros as one of their approved companies for providing this service to taxpayers who prefer to prepare their returns in Spanish rather than English. If you meet the income requirements, your tax prep and efile are free. Thus far, these tax professionals only support state filings for Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
California Free Tax Filing for Low Income Senior Citizens
Supported by the California Franchise Tax Board, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance group buddies up with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly support group to provide trained volunteers for seniors older than 60. It is noteworthy that the office of State Controller John Chiang also provides this service – by appointment – between January 15th and April 15th.
CalFile is the Franchise Tax Board’s Free California Resident Return Filing Software
CalFile allows California filers to participate if their federal adjusted gross income is $163,187 for singles, marrieds, and domestic partners, or $244,785 for heads of household. There are a number of exceptions to the CalFile program, and it is crucial to peruse these prior to getting started.
Sources
http://www.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/wizard.jsp?ck; http://turbotax.intuit.com/; http://www.taxact.com/; http://onlinetaxpros.com/index.php?linkid=ff; http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/vita/sites.asp; http://www.ftb.ca.gov/online/calFile/index.asp

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