- 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

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Are You Exempt From Health Care Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is an individual mandate that requires all eligible Americans to have some form of basic health coverage by 2014. Those without insurance will receive a penalty when they file their tax returns ? that is, unless they have an exemption. TurboTax's Exemption Check can help you find out whether or not you qualify for an exemption.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

Mortgage Refinance Tax Deductions

When refinancing a mortgage to get a lower interest rate or obtain more favorable loan terms, you're really just taking out a new loan and using the money to pay off your existing home loan. In general, the same tax deductions are available when you're refinancing a mortgage as when you're taking out a mortgage to buy a home.

How to Determine if You Have Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have health insurance that meets a government standard known as "minimum essential coverage," or MEC. Whether your insurance qualifies as MEC depends not on the plan itself, but on how you obtained your coverage.

Rental Property Deductions You Can Take at Tax Time

Rental property often offers larger deductions and tax benefits than most investments. Many of these are overlooked by landlords at tax time. This can make a difference in making a profit or losing money on your real estate venture. If you own a rental property, the IRS allows you to deduct expenses you pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, conserving and managing the property, and other expenses deemed necessary and associated with property rental.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum