13 Options for FREE Online Tax Filing

If you earned $69,000 or less in 2019, lots of companies will let you file your federal and state returns for free.
Updated
Tax Preparation

A few months from now, time will run out on filing your federal and state tax returns.

If you've got all your documents together, you can do free tax preparation online and file your 2019 income tax return now, beating the July 15 cutoff with time to spare. And while not a guarantee, there's a chance you may not have to spend a dime! Read on for our list of services that let you do taxes online for free.

10 Sites Offering Free Online Tax Filing

Site Federal Fee State Fee
1040NOW Free with qualification;
$19.95 otherwise
$17.95
ezTaxReturn.com Free with qualification;
$29.95 otherwise
$19.95
FileYourTaxes.com Free with qualification;
From $33.75 otherwise
Free with qualification;
From $29.95 otherwise
Free 1040 Tax Return Free with qualification;
$39.95 otherwise
Free with qualification;
$19.95 otherwise
FreeTaxUSA Free with qualification;
Up to $14.99 otherwise
Free with qualification;
$14.99 otherwise
H&R Block Free with qualification;
$49.99 otherwise
Free with qualification;
$36.99 otherwise
Online Taxes at OLT.com Free Free with qualification;
$9.95 otherwise
TaxAct Free with qualification;
Up to $74.95 otherwise
Free with qualification;
Up to $49.99 otherwise
TaxSlayer Free with qualification;
$17 otherwise
Free with qualification;
$34 otherwise
TurboTax Free with qualification Free with qualification

IRS Free File Online Software

Was your adjusted gross income (AGI) at or under $69,000 in 2019? If so, you can use IRS Free File Online software to file your federal return free of charge — and in some cases, your state returns as well. Participating providers include the following:

1040NOW
Those with an AGI of $69,000 or less can use this program to file their federal return for free in 22 states, including California, Georgia, and New York. Alternatively, residents of 18 other states and Washington, D.C., qualify if their AGI is $68,000 or less. Active-duty military with an AGI of $69,000 or less also qualify.

State returns are $17.95, and if you don't qualify for free federal filing, you can expect to pay $19.95.

ezTaxReturn.com
You can qualify for free federal filing if your AGI is $69,000 or less. But a $19.95 fee applies for state returns, and you'll pay $29.95 for federal returns if you don't qualify. While the free filing is available to individuals of all ages, you must reside in an eligible state.

FileYourTaxes.com
Individuals who are under the age of 65 and have an AGI of $9,000 to $69,000 qualify for free federal filing. Residents of select states also qualify for free state filing, and others must pay a $29.95 fee. If you're active-duty military with an AGI under $69,000, you qualify for free federal filing, too. Otherwise, a federal filing fee of $33.75 applies.

Free 1040 Tax Return
Those who are age 70 or younger, have an AGI of $69,000 or less, and live in select states qualify for free federal filing. Additionally, active-duty military with an AGI of $69,000 or less qualify. If you don't qualify, you can expect to pay $39.95.

Residents of select states qualify for free state filings, as well. However, if you don't live in one of those states, you can include your state return for $19.95.

FreeTaxUSA
Free federal and state filing is available if you're eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), or if your AGI was $36,000 or less in 2019. Active-duty military can also take advantage of this option. Otherwise, you'll incur a fee of $0 to $14.99 to file your federal and state returns.

H&R Block
Free federal and state filing is available to those who had an AGI of $69,000 or less and were active-duty service members, between the ages of 17 and 51 at the end of December 2019, or eligible for the EITC. If you don't qualify, fees of $49.99 and $36.99 apply for federal and state returns, respectively.

Online Taxes at OLT.com
Taxpayers with an AGI between $14,000 and $69,000 — or active-duty military with an AGI of $69,000 or less — qualify for free federal and state filing. Free filing is open to all ages in all states. If you don't qualify for free filing, the fee is free to file your federal return and $9.95 to file your state return.

TaxAct
If you're 56 years old or younger, with an AGI of $59,000 or less, you can use this software to file a free state and federal return. You're also eligible for free filing if you're active-duty military with an AGI of $69,000 or less, or if you qualify for the EITC.

TaxSlayer
Taxpayers who are 51 years old or younger, with an AGI of $69,000 or less, qualify for free federal filing, as do active-duty service members with an AGI of $69,000 or less. Those who qualify for the EITC should also be able to receive free federal filing. Select states have free returns, but if you don't qualify for free federal or state returns, expect to pay $17 and $34, respectively.

TurboTax
Free federal and state filing is available to individuals with an AGI of $36,000 or less, active-duty service members with an AGI of $69,000 or less, and those who qualify for the EITC.

Need help narrowing down your filing options? Use this lookup tool. You'll need to input your age, 2019 AGI, and state of residence, plus answer a few yes-no questions in order to get started.

IRS Free File Fillable Forms

Did your AGI exceed $69,000 in 2019? Then you can use fillable forms to file your federal income taxes online for free, as the program has no income restrictions. This option requires you to register for an online account and complete the proper forms from scratch. You're also responsible for submitting them to the IRS. Check the user's guide for more information.

Did your AGI exceed $69,000 in 2019? Then you can use fillable forms to file your federal income taxes online for free.

A word of caution: Although this is a free option, it may be better to solicit the help of a reputable tax preparer to avoid costly mistakes.

You'll need a copy of your 2018 return to get started, because all accounts and accompanying information are removed from the system around October 20 of each year. (For this reason, you should also save or print a copy of your 2019 return.) And if you need to file a state return, you'll need to go elsewhere, as it isn't available via fillable forms.

Jackson Hewitt

Do you have a taxable income of $100,000 or less, are you single or married filing jointly, or do you qualify for the EITC without children? If so, you may qualify for free federal and state filing through Jackson Hewitt. However, a fee may apply if you wish to file your return in person.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma launched their free tax preparation online service a few years ago, and it's a popular option these days. Both federal and state returns can be filed free of charge. There's no maximum income that prevents you from qualifying for fee-free filing, either.

SEE ALSO: Here's the Best Tax Software for 2020

Bonus Tips for Filing a Free Online Tax Return

Before you sign up for any free tax filing software, keep these tips in mind:

Get organized. Most self-guided tax software is fairly easy to follow. Still, you may find yourself spending a ton of time on one page if your documents aren't organized, or if you don't have everything you need.

When in doubt, always ask. You should be given the option to chat with a tax professional if you need additional assistance. It may cost you a fee, but it could save you time, more money, and headaches from dealing with the IRS if you're audited later.

Give your return a second look. Once you've entered all your information and your return's ready for e-filing, take a break. Then review your return — line by line — to confirm you've entered all the necessary information and all the figures are accurate.

Don't wait until the last minute. Online glitches are more likely to occur when tons of individuals are using a particular tax filing program. You can avoid the risk of missing the filing deadline by submitting your return sooner rather than later.

Readers, have you used any of these free online tax filing programs in the past? What did you think of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


DealNews Contributing Writer

After spending several years as a governmental accountant, Allison transitioned into the world of freelance writing. Her work has appeared on on a number of reputable sites, including The Wall Street Journal, Investopedia, Daily Finance, MSN Money, and Credit.com.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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