Filing your taxes for free

If you itemize, you can officially begin filing your taxes today and the return will be processed. Up until this point, the IRS was not processing returns while it updated its computer system to account for the tax breaks that were added at the end of 2010.

Filing your taxes doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many free options, and some choices that won’t cost you much. There’s no need to spend hundreds, maybe not even $50.

If your adjusted gross income is $58,000 or less, you can file your federal taxes for free through Free File software.  However, you won’t qualify for every program. Some companies set age and income limitations, so make sure you read the rules of every program to find the one that works for you.  Read the fine print, because some filers charge high fees for state returns.  Click here for the list of Free File companies or let the IRS help you find one that fits your personal situation.

Even if you don’t qualify for Free File, there are other cheap options available to use. Most of the Free File companies have an option available for taxpayers who don’t qualify for the free version. This year, I’ve noticed many “Free” advertisements. Remember, it’s only for the federal return and sometimes free federal filing software won’t work if you itemize.

I’m sorting through all the offers for a story on NewsChannel 5, and a taxpayer is putting some of the programs to the test. Check back in a week and a half for the results. It may save you some money on tax preparation.

In the past, I’ve found taxpayers who found $10 software programs that were easy to use and delivered a fairly accurate return. We’ll tell you how they stack up this year. We have a CPA reviewing the returns done by the taxpayer through cheap online software.  I’ll reveal the results in about a week and a half.