- Days left

Cut Money, Time, Frustration When Filing Your Taxes

×
Income Tax Frustration
Getty Images
By Jon Lal

As the deadline for filing federal income taxes nears, have you thought about how you can cut money, time or frustration in how you file your return?

The Internal Revenue Service's Free File allows for a no-cost federal return if your household's 2013 adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less. You can use its online fillable forms or brand-name tax software by selecting a service provider to file listed on the site. Depending on which state you live in, you may need to pay for your state return. Some "e-file partner" companies provide free state returns; check the company's website.

Regardless of whether you meet the $58,000 limit, these providers offer many free federal filing options. 1040EZ forms are offered for free preparation and filing by e-Smart Tax and TaxSlayer.
TaxACT has a variety of IRS tax forms and schedules for free preparation and filing. Basic IRS forms can be prepared and filed for free with TurboTax, which will import W-2 information, so tax filing requires less time to complete. State returns may have a fee to file, and more complex federal forms can bring additional costs.

IRS-certified volunteers offer free help for taxpayers who qualify. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance covers electronic filing for those who meet the $52,000 or less threshold. People 60 years old and older can get help with taxes -- and issues related to pension and retirement -- through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program.

Active duty members of the military can use TaxSlayer's free federal version.

Jon Lal is the founder of coupons and cash-back website BeFrugal.com.


More from U.S. News


Tax Hacks 2014: Helpful Income Tax Apps

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum