Free Tax Returns
Most taxpayers find it a bit counterintuitive to pay for e-filing services to save money on taxes. Typically, the cost is worth the savings. But if you're penny pinching this season and have a pretty good grasp on the filing process, you can save money by filing a free online tax return. But since free tax returns don't provide the advice and resources that paid services do, consider these important tips for saving.
Rethink your status
Most taxpayers think filing status choices are as simple as Single or Married Filing Jointly, but there are actually a few additional options that may reduce your taxes dramatically. For example, you can file as a Head of Household if you are unmarried, pay for more than half of home expenses, and claim a qualifying dependent. You might even be able to claim a parent that doesn't live with you as a dependent, which would enable Head of Household status or allow for an extra deduction. For Head of Household the qualifying relative must live with the taxpayer for more than half the year. The exception is if you are claiming your parent. For married couples, it's almost always better to choose Married Filing Jointly as opposed to Married Filing Separately.
Calculate state tax payments
Nearly all states require some sort of state tax in the filing process. However, 9 out of the 50 U.S. states don't charge personal income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. The laws get a little more complicated, so be sure to see exactly what kind of taxes your state enforces.
Since every taxpayer has unique circumstances and concerns, our tax professionals at H&R Block recommend asking any questions you might have before you file your free 1040 tax return. Whether you're filing your free tax returns with H&R Block or another service provider, we can offer valuable tips and information that applies to your situation directly.