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What to consider when choosing a free online tax filing service

4 min read

4 min read

Finding the best free online tax filing service is important for many taxpayers. Numerous brands offer free online tax filing services, yet not all provide the same level of resources to consumers.

What is online tax filing all about?

First, let’s clarify what we mean by this service. Online tax filing is a popular way to complete your taxes on your own. Instead of working with a tax professional or adding information to fillable forms, you use an online program to answer questions about your tax situation for the specific tax year to prepare your income tax return

Once you’ve completed your return, the program sends it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) electronically through an e-file service.

While the goal of all online tax filing options is to help you complete your taxes, how well they accomplish that goal — and your experience — can vary greatly.

Best free tax filing service: What to consider

When selecting a free online tax filing service, it is important to know what you are getting and what you are not getting from the free file service. Consider these essentials:

Accuracy. As you search for the best online tax software out there, remember this: the most critical part of any tax service is the accuracy it provides to the tax filer. Mistakes on a tax return, even small ones, can become costly in the long term if they lead to fees and audits.

Simplicity. You could sit down and file your return using paper tax forms. But, really, who wants to do that anymore? The best free online tax filing programs make preparing your return easy by providing simple ways to input your information and helping you understand what tax forms you’re completing.

Switch to H&R Block in 5 clicks and do your own taxes online.*

6 Features H&R Block Free Online has to offer

Take a look at the following features of H&R Block Free Online.

1 – More forms for free

As you’re exploring the best free tax preparation option for you, you’ll want to make sure the forms you need are included. H&R Block Free Online includes many popular forms for free — in fact, we let you file more forms for free than TurboTax Free Edition.

For example, students who want to file Form 1098-T (tuition statement) will find that form for free in H&R Block Free Online but not in the TurboTax Free Edition. Learn more in our post that compares

Learn more in our post that compares  TurboTax Free Edition vs. H&R Block Free Online tax filing.

2 – Easy document uploading, including W-2 photo capture

Uploading important tax documents has never been swifter at Block. Send a picture of your W-2, and we’ll put all your information where it needs to be so you can start your free tax preparation instead of spending time doing online taxes by filling out each item, line by line.

3 – You could switch in as little as 5 clicks

It’s simple to switch. If you used the other guys before, uploading last year’s return is no problem. Simply import your return from TurboTax, TaxAct, Credit Karma or any other tax preparation service and you’re set.

4 – Tax guidance and support

You don’t have to be a tax expert to do online taxes. With H&R Block Free Online, we’ll make sure you’re well informed and confident every step of the way, providing tax assistance with answers to commonly asked questions and tips for hundreds of tax credits and deductions. 

5 –Refund results in real time

We let you know when and why your tax refund goes up or down so you can rest easy knowing you’ll get your absolute maximum refund guaranteed.

6 – A guaranteed accurate tax return

You can count on accuracy in the filing process, something that’s very important for anyone completing taxes independently. At H&R Block, we guarantee that your return is 100% accurate, or we’ll reimburse you for any IRS penalties and interest you paid.

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