April 18th, 2017 is tax day, and the good news is you may be eligible to file a free state tax return. Every state has different tax rates, policies and requirements. Regardless, you may be able to file for free.
Filing Your State Tax Return
Follow these steps, and you should be able to file your state tax return online, for free:
- Look at your state’s tax agency website.
- Find the section with instructions for individual taxpayers. For example, there’s an “Individuals” tab on Virginia’s website. Click on the tab and the site will guide you through the rest of the process.
- Discover your residency status. You may be a full-year or part-year resident, or a nonresident. Residency depends on a number of factors, including military service, vacation-home occupancy, and how you earn money in the state.
- Gather all of your tax documentsand information, such as your Social Security number, business receipts and W-2 forms.
Follow the instructions regarding online filing or e-filing outlined by your state’s revenue agency website. For instance, Pennsylvania’s website contains a tab named “Online Services” which leads to a sub-menu called “Personal Income Tax E-Services” which contains a link to “File My Taxes (PA E-File).”
You Can File Your Taxes for Free Online
Check out these free tax-filing websites:
TurboTax.com offers free tax filing for simple tax returns, with minimal deductions on both federal and state taxes. The Federal Free Edition guarantees 100-percent accuracy and personalizes your return to find all the best tax deductions for you from more than 350 options.
You can use their AbsoluteZERO program, which allows taxpayers to submit photographs of their W-2 forms, and TurboTax will import the information into your 1040. Their ExplainWhy program answers questions and provides explanations along the way. TurboTax stays up-to-date with the tax laws and offers a 24/7 help center.
MyFreeTaxes.com is available for free for taxpayers making less than $64,000 annually. The site claims that more than 80 percent of the users were able to file their taxes in less than an hour.
The website offers IRS-certified specialist support in both Spanish and English through email, live-chat, and telephone. MyFreeTaxes is web-based and very versatile. Once users log in to the site and create an account, they can prepare their own taxes from any computer or mobile device.
The website claims that “You will not be forced to upgrade no matter what your tax situation may be. No hidden fees. No tricks. We’re simply free.” FreeTax.com offers online support during regular business hours Monday-Friday, 9-5PM EST. The company guarantees accuracy and the site allows taxpayers to claim self-employment expenses, itemize deductions, and include investment income. You just have to answer a few questions, and the website will lead you through the way.
Whether you like tax day, or not, you can take advantage of filing your state taxes for free. Every state has different tax rates and requirements, but no matter where you live, it’s likely you can file your state taxes for free. At least you can save yourself a few dollars.