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PriceIsRight2 said:   Has anyone found low cost approach for e-filing in multiple states?

You may just want to do the state returns the old fashioned way by hand after using software for the Federal version. Most state taxes use the 1040 as a basis and don't take very long, maybe 15-30 min to complete everything.

If you have overlooked the previous opportunities to get H&R Block at Home Deluxe plus State for free, here is one more chance:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1068592/

I don't know if this really counts but for those that meet the restrictions there are the IRS-sponsored FreeFile versions of several online programs - note these are unique versions that are NOT promoted or available through the main gateways to these programs, they can only be linked to directly, or through the IRS.gov FreeFile portal.

Examples:

http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partner/index.jsp (Must be 51 or younger and AGI less than $58k)

http://turbotax.intuit.com/taxfreedom/ (Must have AGI less than $31k or be active military with less than $58k)

http://www.taxactonline.com/s_online_tax2010/index.asp (Must be 19-55 and AGI less than $58k)


Check the complete list of participating sites here:

http://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp

Please beware that when you click the Amazon links, you may be buying from a reseller via Amazon.com and not Amazon directly. I updated the prices to reflect Amazon.com direct for the CD's. The download pricing seems to fluctuate quite often. I updated Amazon pricing in the wiki-post to reflect 28 Jan 2011 prices. Also - it seems Amazon may make you install a downloader program (boo!) so buyer beware. I guess you could just uninstall once you're done but it's still a dumb thing to do.
If you don't mind ordering through a reseller, the prices are a bit lower ($42.34 vs $42.78 for Deluxe w/State CD version and $60.75 vs $67.19 for Premier w/State CD version)

For any of you who got the Continental OnePass card with that nice 50,000 mile bonus, Continental's OnePass shopping site is giving 20 miles per dollar on TurboTax and TaxCut.

Save 35% on TurboTax Online Federal products when you pay with your Chase debit or credit card.

http://www.chase.com/taxes
http://turbotax.intuit.com/affiliate/chaseret

The IRS offers free filing directly through their website, with no income limitations. It is not questionnaire-style software like TurboTax and the rest. It is just blank, fill-able IRS forms. However, if you already know what you are doing, and merely want an electronic means to submit your data to the IRS, then it would work for you.

The only caution I would give is that the software can be kind of buggy (from my experience last year). But if you start early in the year, you should have plenty of time to work out kinks. And they might have improved the software.

But it's a free government service, so what else do you expect?

On this IRS page:
http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html

Look for the words:
IRS said: Everyone is eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of our paper forms designed for people comfortable preparing their own tax returns.

And that will take you to this website:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway.htm

Here is a list of the supported forms:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/ListFormsAvailable.htm

jcbrooks said:   The IRS offers free filing directly through their website, with no income limitations. It is not questionnaire-style software like TurboTax and the rest. It is just blank, fill-able IRS forms. However, if you already know what you are doing, and merely want an electronic means to submit your data to the IRS, then it would work for you.

The only caution I would give is that the software can be kind of buggy (from my experience last year). But if you start early in the year, you should have plenty of time to work out kinks. And they might have improved the software.

But it's a free government service, so what else do you expect?

On this IRS page:
http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html

Look for the words:
IRS said: Everyone is eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of our paper forms designed for people comfortable preparing their own tax returns.

And that will take you to this website:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway.htm

Here is a list of the supported forms:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/ListFormsAvailable.htm

Just so everyone understands, the IRS is not providing this service. It is only providing a link to this service from its web site. The IRS does not provide any online filing service. All e-filing has to be done through private providers.

The Fillable Forms web site is maintained by the Free File Alliance (FFA). The FFA is the lobbying arm of the tax-preparation industry. Their mission is to prevent the IRS from offering its own online filing services to taxpayers. They provide this site so that they can go in front of Congress and say "look, everybody can e-file for free, there's no need to let the IRS provide such a service." I believe they actually subcontract the operation of the site to one of their members like Intuit (TurboTax).

xx said: The IRS offers free filing directly through their website, with no income limitations. It is not questionnaire-style software like TurboTax and the rest. It is just blank, fill-able IRS forms. However, if you already know what you are doing, and merely want an electronic means to submit your data to the IRS, then it would work for you. The only caution I would give is that the software can be kind of buggy (from my experience last year). But if you start early in the year, you should have plenty of time to work out kinks. And they might have improved the software. But it's a free government service, so what else do you expect? On this IRS page: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html Look for the words: IRS said: Everyone is eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of our paper forms designed for people comfortable preparing their own tax returns. And that will take you to this website: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway.htm Here is a list of the supported forms: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/ListFormsAvailable.htm * reply * quote * top * bottom

My problem is that I just visited many of those so-called free e-filing websites and came back empty-handed because they all wanted to charge $$$ for the use of SCHEDULE D even though the person met the eligibility requirement.

I guess I will just have to do paper filing for a very simple return with a SCHEDULE D.

I got this promo of this free e-file service from TaxHawk, Inc.

Complex Tax Filing FREE. It doesn't matter if you were self-employed, had investment income, went to school, or owned a home, FreeTaxUSA covers all that and more for free. You can rest assured that when you start your tax return on FreeTaxUSA, you won't have to upgrade halfway through the process because of a complex tax situation. Free tax filing should be for everyone

http://www.freetaxusa.com/

fedguy said: I got this promo of this free e-file service from TaxHawk, Inc. Complex Tax Filing FREE. It doesn't matter if you were self-employed, had investment income, went to school, or owned a home, FreeTaxUSA covers all that and more for free. You can rest assured that when you start your tax return on FreeTaxUSA, you won't have to upgrade halfway through the process because of a complex tax situation. Free tax filing should be for everyone http://www.freetaxusa.com/

Thanks very much for this information.

Yes, freetaxusa.com does allow you to e-file federal tax return with Schedule D for free if you are eligible.

Just finished the e-filing for federal tax return with a schedule D without any issues.

The site specifically mentions the following exclusions from their online service.

The following items are NOT supported with FreeTaxUSA:
Foreign employment income (Form 2555)
Foreign mailing address
Household employment taxes (Schedule H)
Nonresident alien returns (Form 1040NR)
Deceased taxpayer (Form 1310)
Farm rental (Form 4835)
At-risk limitations (Form 6198)
Installment sales (Form 6252)
Tax for children with more than $1,900 in investment income (Form 8615)
Prior year minimum tax credit (Form 8801)
Archer MSAs (Form 8853)
Health coverage tax credit (Form 8885 and Form 1099-H)


Most of the other free e-file software websites have a limited number of forms that are included (a "watered down" version of the other pay for use versions).

The TaxAct free edition does appear to support Schedule D as well.

http://www.taxact.com/taxes-online/free-online-tax.asp

The IRS Freefile program lists 17 firms that participate in that program, but that service is only free if you earn under $58,000. But, if you go to other areas of the firms' webpages for other services (not the FreeFile program related), some of them, like TaxAct and FreeTaxUSA, offer free electronic filing regardless of income. I am guessing that the FreeFile program is something that was set up many years ago when electronic filing was just in its infancy and which did restrict the free service to low income individuals. The participating companies retained that connection to the IRS. Then later, they decided to expand the free e-file option to everyone else at no cost using a different webpage not connected to FreeFile. So, some filers might not realize that a firm offered free e-filing regardless of income and use the FreeFile program related site and pay a fee.

Examples.

https://www.taxactonline.com/s_online_tax2010/index.asp?sc=10503... ($58K and age limits)

http://www.taxact.com/taxes-online/free-online-tax.asp?sc=101400... (no limit)

http://www.freetaxusa.com/freefile/ ($58K and age limits)

http://www.freetaxusa.com/services.jsp (no limit)

lastgaspjr said:   jcbrooks said:   The IRS offers free filing directly through their website, with no income limitations. It is not questionnaire-style software like TurboTax and the rest. It is just blank, fill-able IRS forms. However, if you already know what you are doing, and merely want an electronic means to submit your data to the IRS, then it would work for you.

The only caution I would give is that the software can be kind of buggy (from my experience last year). But if you start early in the year, you should have plenty of time to work out kinks. And they might have improved the software.

But it's a free government service, so what else do you expect?

On this IRS page:
http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html

Look for the words:
IRS said: Everyone is eligible to use Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of our paper forms designed for people comfortable preparing their own tax returns.

And that will take you to this website:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway.htm

Here is a list of the supported forms:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/ListFormsAvailable.htm

Just so everyone understands, the IRS is not providing this service. It is only providing a link to this service from its web site. The IRS does not provide any online filing service. All e-filing has to be done through private providers.

The Fillable Forms web site is maintained by the Free File Alliance (FFA). The FFA is the lobbying arm of the tax-preparation industry. Their mission is to prevent the IRS from offering its own online filing services to taxpayers. They provide this site so that they can go in front of Congress and say "look, everybody can e-file for free, there's no need to let the IRS provide such a service." I believe they actually subcontract the operation of the site to one of their members like Intuit (TurboTax).


This is from Publication 910 from 2009.

Last year, the IRS enabled taxpayers to file directly to the IRS through its Web site. More than 270,000 taxpayers, who were comfortable
completing paper tax returns, completed their federal income tax returns online. The free fillable form will be available on the
IRS Web site again this year for taxpayers who wish to e-file directly with the IRS.


There is no direct filing to the IRS servers as of now despite what is stated in the publication. There was a project called Cyberfile that was supposed to allow direct submissions from your PC to the IRS via the FedWorld website back in 1996, but that has been on hold indefinitely due to security and fraud issues.

http://www.unclefed.com/GAOReports/aimd96-140_sum.html

Free Fillable Forms is a joke. It doesn't support multiple Schedule D-1's like many people who trade options have (if I used the Print Schedule D-1 option in Tradelog, I would have over a dozen pages of D-1's). The "do the math" option only adds and subtracts, and doesn't divide, multiply, or do formulas. It is intentionally crippled for a reason - the free Excel Tax Spreadsheet does a better job (www.excel1040.com). I print out the appropriate sheets from the program and mail them in to the IRS without a problem.

The Free Fillable Forms is just a PDF fill in of what you had finished on a paper copy and don't want to use postage stamps to mail it. So, the Free File Alliance takes your PDF entries and then electronically sends it along with the other online filers' returns. All it boils down is a way to save your postage costs and nothing more (The Postal Service doesn't need more people to file electronically).

For those who need to file other returns besides the 1040, here is a list of free and low cost electronic filing websites for small businesses and individual taxpayers who need to file other additional returns.

http://www.speedefiler.com
http://www.filetaxes.com
http://www.taxsoftware.com
http://www.fileyourtaxes.com
http://www.efilemyforms.com
http://www.onlinefiletaxes.com

Many of these companies are participants in the Free File Alliance.

Update. I got this link to free e-filing for H&R Block at Home that says that it covers both simple and complex returns.

http://www.free-federal-efile.com/hrblock.php

I can't figure out what is going on with TurboTax this year. I have been using it happily for many years. In fact, since I know absolutely nothing about finances but have to itemize (a house, children, a tenant, charitable donations, etc...) I am afraid to try another program, because I was so happy with the simplicity (and hopefully the accuracy) of TurboTax.

While in prior years I bought the CD through whatever deals I found, last year I used their Online filing because it was so much cheaper. I am not sure, but I think with Fed + State and eFile for BOTH, it came out to somewhere between $18 and $21.

This year, not one of the CDs or Download versions include State eFile. They all want $19.99 additional for that and the Online version (which used to be cheaper) costs over $60 with Fed + State + eFile!

I am stumped and clueless what to do next. I really like having State eFile, because I am not only clueless, I am also a procrastinator. So I don't file as early as I would like too, but since I always get a huge refund (due to the way my company takes off deductions) I then want my money back as soon as possible.

Options:

1 - Try TaxAct online, which only costs $18 with everything - including State and eFile. Does anyone know how thorough and user-friendly their Q&A process is?

2 - Buy the Amazon TurboTax download for 38.?? and then mail in my State forms on paper (ouch!!) How much time does paper forms add to the refund delay?

3 - add to my stress in an alternate way that also thins my wallet, by either paying another $20 for State eFile, or paying $60 to do the whole thing on TurboTax online.

I haven't seen a good offer for a discount on Online Filing with state and eFile. The 25% off offer from Chase etc... adds another $27 for State filing - and that is AFTER the discount. And I am not even sure if it includes State eFile.

Help please!! I need advice.

You can also earn up to 1000 MyPoints for following their link to TaxAct Online. I don't see any better offers anyway...

http://www.fatwallet.com/best-deals/taxact-ultimate-bundle/

$11.90 (reg. $17.95) - expires 3/19/2011 11:59pm

"Thanks for your interest in our free TurboTax offer for State Farm Bank Customers. We have reached our limit of 25,000."

Did anyone save the affiliate link?

Any opinion on what's best? TurboTax is kind of crap this year, and my situation is a bit too complex for HR Block, which I normally use (weird 1099s, need to get exemption from underpayment penalty, etc.).

I'm checking out both TaxAct and Tax Complete, wondering on the hive opinions... Thx!

Link still works. Saved me a few bucks.

Bump with the final weekend to file your return. Here are links to free online filing without restrictions (for those that don't qualify for the $58K income restriction for the IRS Free File program). The H & R Block free version does not support Schedules C, D, E, or F.

http://www.taxact.com/taxes-online/free-online-tax.asp
http://www.freetaxusa.com/
http://www.express1040.com/
http://www.hrblock.com/online-tax-preparation/free-edition.html

Freetaxusa and express1040 are versions offered by TaxHawk. Oddly, the deluxe versions and state returns have different prices.



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