What the Tax Software Companies Dont Want You to Know

Haven't done your taxes yet? No problem. Now there is a new way you can use top tax software programs, like TurboTax and H&R Block, to get your taxes done quickly and easily. And the best part is it won't cost you a thing.

The secret is an IRS program called Free File, that allows you to prepare and file your federal tax return electronically, using these and dozens of other popular tax software programs, for free!

Free File has been around for a few years, but it used to have very stringent income requirements (i.e., only taxpayers whose incomes were below a certain level could use it). This year is the first time the service is being opened up to 99% of taxpayers.

Important: You must go through the IRS official web site in order to get this deal. Go to http://www.irs.gov and click on the link at the top of the home page that says Free File. (Note: It's not on the navigation bar. It's on the home page itself.)

Next, you'll want to click the gray button at the bottom of the page that says, "Start Now." At this point, you'll have the option of browsing all of the services offered or choosing to use the "Guide Me to a Service" wizard to help you select one. The wizard will ask you a few basic questions about your age and income and then come back with a list of companies whose free products meet your needs.

Why is the IRS doing this? In a nutshell, to save money. It's cheaper, faster and easier for them to process returns electronically.

Why should you do it? Because it's cheaper and easier to file, and you can get your refund faster.

Why are the big tax companies offering this deal? They're trying to get you to upgrade to one of their deluxe products, which offer things like tax planning advice, the ability to import data from software you used last year, etc.

Also, state tax programs are not included in this deal. So the companies probably figure that if you use their free federal program you'll end up buying their state one.

Remember: You must go through the IRS official web site in order to get this deal. If you go to the tax companies' sites, you will not get this offer. In fact, some of these companies not only charge you to do your return online, but then they'll also hit you with a fee once you try to file electronically. So you'll pay twice if you don't go through the IRS web site.

Happy tax preparing!

Stephanie Gallagher reveals her closely-guarded shopping secrets in her ezine, The Shopping Mom's Weekly Tip. Click here to get the eCookbooks Recipe Sampler Cookbook as a special gift when you subscribe: mailto: [email protected]

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Which local community pays the highest taxes? It might surprise you
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Small villages in Orleans County paid the highest effective property tax rate in the region, a report Monday found.

and more »

New York Times

Craft Distillers, Facing Lower Taxes, Invest in Themselves - The New ...
New York Times
Small craft distillers across the country have been on a spending spree since the turn of the new year. St. George Spirits, in Alameda, Calif., recently invested in more efficient pumps, new lab equipment and an automated bottling line. House Spirits ...

and more »

Tax Foundation

Seattle Proposes a New Tax on Jobs
Tax Foundation
It will be difficult for Seattle to top 2017 for the sheer number of new or higher taxes considered: a city income tax, foreign buyers' and luxury real estate taxes, soda taxes, short-term rental taxes, a higher parking tax, and a business head tax ...
Here's how Seattle's proposed tax on businesses to pay for homelessness services would workCHS Blog (blog)

all 13 news articles »

HuffPost

The new tax law gives rental property owners some breaks — and one important negative change
MarketWatch
As under prior law, you can still deduct mortgage interest and state and local real estate taxes on rental properties. While the TCJA imposes new limitations on deducting personal residence mortgage interest and state and local taxes (including ...
The Great Republican Tax Cut BackfireHuffPost

all 6 news articles »

CNNMoney

Social Security, Medicare and taxes are on the mind of Arizona's ...
CNNMoney
In Sun City, Arizona, tax reform, Social Security and Medicare are on the minds of a powerful bloc of senior voters ahead of the special election for the 8th congressional district Tuesday.
Arizona Votes Home PageArizona.Vote

all 38 news articles »

The Denver Post

Colorado Supreme Court upholds legality of taxes for special districts, like RTD
The Denver Post
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutionality of a state law that added sales taxes to some items to benefit public transportation and cultural groups in metropolitan Denver without voter approval. The ruling by the state's highest ...

and more »

Tax Foundation

Should Bottled Spring Water Be Subject to Severance, Extraction, or Excise Taxes?
Tax Foundation
At the end of February, a bill (HB 5656) was introduced in the Michigan House to subject spring water bottlers to an excise tax of 4 percent of the wholesale price of the water they bottled. This same time last year, a bill in Maine (HP 0356) proposed ...

and more »

ACLU (blog)

Will Immigration Authorities Use Our Taxes to Go After Immigrants?
ACLU (blog)
People across the country filed their tax returns last week, glitches and all. If historical patterns hold up, this year's taxpayers will include millions of undocumented immigrants. Federal law protects the confidentiality of tax information, but ...


Sacramento Bee

California initiative would make it harder to raise taxes | The ...
Sacramento Bee
All state and local taxes would need two-thirds approval under an initiative sponsored by the California Business Roundtable currently gathering signatures for the November 2018 election. The beverage industry is a major donor.
California's candidates for governor don't talk about taxes much ...Los Angeles Times
Will $12 billion tax bite drive rich from California? | CALmattersCALmatters

all 4 news articles »

USA TODAY

Online stores need to pay taxes, too: Readers on an Internet sales tax
USA TODAY
States need the income, and it's not fair that brick-and-mortar stores (which already bear the costs of huge overheads) should also be the only ones who must be less competitive because others do not charge sales tax. I think it's so wrong for a ...

Google News

How to Maximize Your Home Business Tax Deductions for 2005

Someone once said, 'the best way to calculate your taxes... Read More

Seven Key Tax Deductions for the Self Employed

As a sole proprietor, it's wise to familiarize yourself with... Read More

What You Need To Know About Taxes If You?re Getting Married

It may not be high on the list of wedding... Read More

Identity Theft ? Impacting Your Taxes?

If your identity is stolen, your finances can quickly become... Read More

Some Folks Pay A Lot Less Tax Than Others On Very Same Income?Did You Pay Too Much Tax In 2004?

Someone once remarked, "Next to being shot at and missed,... Read More

Tax Trap #2 -- Double Taxation: Isnt Once Enough?

Have you been thinking about incorporating your small business or... Read More

2005 Ford Escape Hybrid Certified For Clean-Fuel Deduction

If you are environmentally conscious and purchase a 2005 Ford... Read More

What to Do If You Can?t Pay Your Taxes

The end of tax filing extensions is quickly approaching. What... Read More

Knock-Knock-Knock

Knock-Knock-KnockWho's there?The IRS!The next quarterly payment of estimated income tax... Read More

Tax Help Secret: Avoiding the Entreprenuers Curse

Your days as an entrepreneur and businessperson are consumed with... Read More

Keeping Your Own Money ? NOT Handing It Over To The Taxman

Most people trying to make a crust online (or offline... Read More

Employment Taxes ? Depositing With The IRS

If your business has employees, you must pay employment taxes.... Read More

Highlights of IRS List of 2005 Tax Scams

Each year, the IRS lists various scams taxpayers get caught... Read More

Uncle Sam is Ready...Are You? Organizing Tips for Tax Time

Anyone who is closely related to an accountant knows that... Read More

Tax Investigation - What You Need To Do

The knock on the door from a Tax Inspector is... Read More

Understanding Basic Tax Terms

If your like many, you don't always understand what people... Read More

The Seven Deadly Tax Sins: Commonly Missed Deductions

It's that time again, the April 15 tax deadline is... Read More

Donating Cars To Charity - New Tax Rules

On June 3, 2005, the IRS released guidance on charitable... Read More

What the Tax Software Companies Dont Want You to Know

Haven't done your taxes yet? No problem. Now there is... Read More

Reducing Taxes Through Dividend-Salary Mix Calculations

Should I take wages or dividends from my privately owned... Read More

IRS Obtains More Than 100 Injunctions Against Tax Scheme Promoters

The IRS has obtained civil injunctions against more than 100... Read More

Access to E-records by Taxing Authorities: A Case for Pakistan (Part II)

All tax authorities to e-commerce transactions should investigate the record... Read More

Small Business Tax Credit - Americans with Disabilities Act

Many small businesses complain when confronted with the expense of... Read More

10 Thoughts on Tax Offer in Compromise

Beware of advertisements that claim to settle tax debts for... Read More

IRS Reports Tax Gap of $300 Billion

The Internal Revenue Service is reporting that the difference between... Read More