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Old 01-01-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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Free E-File

Does anyone prepare and e-file for free their federal and state income tax not using for-cost tax software? My state offers us the ability to file online for free. Unless I'm overlooking something, the federal government doesn't. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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I used "Free File" either last year or the year before....don't recall off hand which. You go through the IRS website, and pick a company that offers 'Free File', check to see if you meet their income requirements (choose a different one if you don't), and the off ya go!

I also liked when the IRS offered "Tele-File"......that was nice! You just punched in your info over the phone.....and presto!.....it was filed! Then you hit a couple more buttons, and your state taxes were done too!
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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Go to File Taxes Online - Do Taxes FREE - File Taxes With TaxACT.

Free download and e-file for their standard software. They will, of course, try like mad to get you to upgrade to a premium version.

They have a tremendously positive reputation. I'm not sure I've ever read anything negative about them on any tax bulletin board.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Yes, TaxAct is 1 free e-file. The Deluxe version is allows for more E-Filings and features. I never had a problem with TaxAct's Software.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by starter82 View Post
Does anyone prepare and e-file for free their federal and state income tax not using for-cost tax software? My state offers us the ability to file online for free. Unless I'm overlooking something, the federal government doesn't. Any thoughts?
I do my state taxes by free e-file. It's really easy. But for federal, I use TurboTax. I might look into TaxAct this year - - I remember last year, everyone on ER boards seemed to really like it.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:28 AM   #6
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My TurboTax wants $17.95 to e-file for me.
I will be mailing it in.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:20 AM   #7
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I use Turbo Tax online. If you have State Farm Insurance you can get it for free including efile through the State Farm customer website. I think you still have to pay for State return though.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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I ALWAYS mail in my return. I refuse to make it any easier for the government to implement the excessively complex and inequitable income tax system. I figure the time spent by somebody at the IRS to process my paper return is time not spent abusing some other poor soul.

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Old 01-04-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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I ALWAYS mail in my return. I refuse to make it any easier for the government to implement the excessively complex and inequitable income tax system. I figure the time spent by somebody at the IRS to process my paper return is time not spent abusing some other poor soul.
Boy, how true that is. What I have seen at the state level, and am seeing more and more at the federal level is that all this electronic filing is freeing up so much time for IRS and state department of revenue workers that they are being sent out to the field to terrorize people perform audits.

That said, efiling is here to stay and at the very least it's keeping the environment a little cleaner.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone who has responded.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:54 AM   #11
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I always mail my return, and unless they start offering incentives for E-filing, I probably will continue to do so.

When my state DOR recently handed out a kicker refund, several thousand kicker checks were improperly withheld (actually, they were incorrectly given to the State education budget). I read that the mistakes were only made for taxpayers who E-filed.

In addition, I've heard that E-filing increases your chances for an audit from the IRS. I've heard that E-filing makes it much easier for the Service to identify red flags, and your return will be set aside for a closer review. Maybe someone can comment on whether this is true?
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:19 PM   #12
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Last year TaxCut (from H&R Block) was available on line for free. Has anyone stumbled onto a free download site for this year?
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:26 PM   #13
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2B, I've been looking for it but no luck.

I'm hoping Block is waiting for the changes Congress passed in late Dec. to be included before they release it, but I don't think that's the case. Looks like they decided to stop giving away a TaxCut Basic freebie. Actually, I was surprised they did it in 06.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:07 AM   #14
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I've been using Turbo Tax for many years and I've been very pleased with it but I wouldn't mind using Taxact since it's free.
I went to their website but didn't see whether the software had the option to create a saved pdf copy like TT. I need this as I am traveling and want my saved returns to be independent of the software. I would also miss (I assume only the 1st time use) transferring last years TT data to the current year's return (an inconvenience).

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Old 01-07-2008, 08:34 AM   #15
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I ALWAYS mail in my return. I refuse to make it any easier for the government to implement the excessively complex and inequitable income tax system. I figure the time spent by somebody at the IRS to process my paper return is time not spent abusing some other poor soul.

Grumpy
You and I would get along just fine - my thoughts exactly. And it's especially irritating when they want me to PAY for E-filing so it's easier for them!

Not in this lifetime.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:17 AM   #16
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I might look into TaxAct this year - - I remember last year, everyone on ER boards seemed to really like it.
I've been quite happy with Taxact so far. They even answer tech support questions in a timely manner via email -- and not just boilerplate responses.

I haven't decided about efiling. I'm not sure that paper filing is an effective way of sticking it to the man, especially if it results in a transcription error.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #17
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I've been using Turbo Tax for many years and I've been very pleased with it but I wouldn't mind using Taxact since it's free.
I went to their website but didn't see whether the software had the option to create a saved pdf copy like TT. I need this as I am traveling and want my saved returns to be independent of the software. I would also miss (I assume only the 1st time use) transferring last years TT data to the current year's return (an inconvenience).
MJ
I gave the free version of TaxACT a try this weekend MJ and was impressed. There is a PDF export option, but it is only available in non-free versions. Looks like "TaxACT Deluxe" is $12.95, considerably cheaper than TurboTax or TaxCut. However, one of the features I like is the direct download/import of my brokerage data, which TaxACT does not appear to have...not sure the convenience is worth another $50 ...
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #18
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However, one of the features I like is the direct download/import of my brokerage data, which TaxACT does not appear to have...not sure the convenience is worth another $50 ...
The brokerage data import is a great feature, but watch out if you have multiple accounts. For the last two years Fidelity has included DS UTMA account in my return. Apart from that it saves me the manual entry of 12 to 15 pages worth of Schedule D. for which I am grateful.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #19
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I've been using Turbo Tax for many years and I've been very pleased with it but I wouldn't mind using Taxact since it's free.
I went to their website but didn't see whether the software had the option to create a saved pdf copy like TT.
Can't you just 'print to pdf'? On the Mac, anything that you can print can be saved as a pdf - very handy. I do that with TaxAct and lots of stuff.

You might need an add-on for Windows, or is it built in and you are unaware of it?

-ERD50
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #20
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Yes, the add-on I use is CutePDF. Highly recommended and free -- I use it every day.
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