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How To File Your 2021 Tax Return For Free

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While there are many options out there for filing your taxes, there are also free options to file your taxes. But this also depends on what is in your taxes. If you were a 1099 employee in 2021, you won’t be able to use a free version of any tax software to do your taxes.

It’s only January, but you can now start to file your taxes for 2021. And if you have a nice tax refund coming, you might as well get started as soon as possible.

Below, we have all of the methods you can use to file your taxes for free. But be careful, as one may push you into a paid option, again depending on what you have on your taxes. The more complicated they are, the less likely you can file for free.

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IRS Free File

The IRS actually partners with a lot of tax-prep firms for Free File, which allows you to file your taxes for free if you made less than $72,000 in 2021.

Now, if you did make more than $72,000 in 2021, you can still use the Free File fillable forms, but you won’t get the free State return options, unfortunately. It’ll also require that you file your taxes yourself, with the help of the IRS.

IRS Free File

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H&R Block

H&R Block is probably one of the most popular tax-prep companies out there, with offices on every corner. But it also offers a way to file your taxes for free online. It lets you import your tax documents from last year. And if you’re struggling, H&R Block’s help center is there to help.

With its free file option, you do still have access to tax deductions and credits. That includes the Earned Income Tax Credit. It also tracks your refund as you complete your taxes, so you can see how it changes as you proceed.

H&R Block

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TurboTax

Perhaps the most popular online tax-prep software, TurboTax does also allow you to file for free. There is a TurboTax Free Edition that allows you to file your taxes for free. But only if your taxes are simple, and you use the 1040 form. That includes those with dependent kids, student loan interest and who receive W-2s.

There is also the TurboTax Live Full Service basic, which is available through February 15 and will allow you to submit your return to a tax expert. This helps you to avoid getting audited or having to amend your tax return later on. Which can delay your refund.

TurboTax

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TaxAct

You can file your federal and state taxes for free with TaxAct. You’ll be able to import your filings from TurboTax and H&R Block or import your TaxAct return from last year for no extra charge. Now after you finish your federal return, details are autocompleted in your state return and, you’ll be able to see your estimated refund in real-time.

TaxAct

e-file.com

e-file.com is authorized by the IRS and offers free federal tax return service for those who qualify. This is a very basic software, so if you aren’t doing a Form 1040, then you likely won’t be able to use this for your tax returns, unfortunately.

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There are paid tiers for e-file.com, but if you’re not using the free version, it might be a better option to use something like TurboTax or H&R Block.

e-file.com

TaxSlayer

Like with most other options on this list, you are going to need to have a simple tax return to use this option for free. With TaxSlayer, you will be able to prepare, file and print your return for free. You will also get one free state return for no extra cost.

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While some tax preparers will only offer online support through chat, TaxSlayer actually has email and phone support available if you need some extra help. You’ll also be able to deduct your filing fees from your federal tax refund.

TaxSlayer

Cash App Taxes

You may be familiar with Credit Karma, for helping with all things regarding your credit score. But it can also let you file your taxes for free.

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As you might be able to tell from the name, it is now being done through Block’s Cash App. What is already the #1 finance app, is now getting even better. With Cash App, you can file your taxes, send money to others, and even invest in stocks and crypto.

How exactly does this work? Well, Credit Karma will monetize users’ personal tax data, because it uses that data to target them with advertising. Offsetting the costs of filing your taxes through Credit Karma.

Cash App Taxes