File your federal tax return for free

Everyone likes to get things free, so learn where you can file your federal tax returns free, and your state tax returns for only a small fee.

I have always been told, “You never get anything for free,” and that is more than likely the case with most “free” offers we come across in our daily ventures. While that may be true, the good news is that you absolutely can file your federal taxes free.

If you make less than $60,000 per year, you qualify for a free federal tax return. If you make over $60,000, you still have the option of using free fillable forms. Either way the best place to start is at www.irs.gov/freefile.

My suggestion is to watch the short video, when you first visit the website. Next, click the link to help you find free file software. The neat thing is it is all brand-name software from 14 leading tax software companies. When I entered my information, I was presented with 11 software options. When you pick a software company from the list, you will be taken to a page asking if you want to leave the IRS site. You will have to leave the IRS site in order to file your return.

Once you get your list of companies to select from, I would recommend clicking through the various sites if you are interested in filing your state tax return at the same time and check pricing. When I clicked through my offerings I found pricing for filing a state return ranged anywhere from $7.95 up to $24.95 depending on the company.

Most free file products will ask you questions that will help you work through filing your taxes including steps to help you work through proper filing regarding health coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To learn more visit IRS.gov.

Free file is available through October 2015 and you have until April 15, 2015 to prepare a return. If you cannot meet the April 15, 2015 deadline, the free file can be used to request a six-month extension.

Taxes can be complicated and changing laws seem to make every new filing year a little more difficult so why not brush up on your knowledge by visiting IRS.gov, but remember when in doubt seek the advice of a tax professional.

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information of classes in your area, visit the MSU Extension events feed or MI Money Health.

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