Tuesday, February 13

Free. Taxes.

I don't know why no one ever told me — or I never figured it out for myself before this year — that you could go to the IRS's website and be directed to lots of sites where you can prepare and submit your tax return for free as long as you meet some criteria, namely based on age and income. You can even do it for free through H&R Block, which — even though you don't pay them a cent — will offer you audit protection should you need it through the coming year. Pretty sweet, when you consider that if you just walked into an H&R Block and had someone prepare your return, it would cost you more than $50 (last year it cost Phil something liks $80).

So click here and browse your way to the list of places where you can file for free (each site has its own criteria for who qualifies for a free filing).

Here's what I used last night. It's for people who make $52,000 or less and are 50 or younger. It was incredibly simple and I got an e-mail this morning telling me the IRS had accepted my return, so I'll get my refund (whew!) in eight to fifteen days. The only hitch was when I had to provide an electronic signature, which you can do two ways: Provide your adjusted gross income for last year, or print out some form and mail it in. I chose the former because I have no printer ink and I was able to cobble together my TaxBrain login to take a gander at last year's numbers. It worked like a charm.

(What's ironic is that for the past two years I've used TaxBrain — again, I'm slow and still fairly new to the tax train — and both years in about October I've received notices from the IRS telling me that I hadn't submitted an electronic signature and that I'd better hurry up and do so or I'd never be able to e-file again. So TaxBrain — for which I paid, I dunno, $20? — neither time provided an essential form to me and to the IRS. Yet the free H&R Block program was on top of it.)

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3 Comments:

Blogger phallicpen said...

Thanks for bringing it up.

Just kidding. Sort of.

I also used the free service, but we Newish Yorkers have to pay state tax, which costs $30 to file. And apparently rapes you up the ass.

Wed Feb 14, 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

The 8453-OL is always required by the IRS. If you printed out your TaxBrain return it would be included with a copy of the 8453-OL already filled out to send in.

Fri Feb 16, 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Corey, when you e-file, you don't print anything out. Maybe some people print to keep records, but I prefer to live on the edge and not print things out. And I was never instructed by TaxBrain to print anything out and send it in. If I was going to do that, why would I e-file?

Tue Feb 20, 09:54:00 AM  

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