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IRS free file is open
Old 01-12-2018, 10:31 AM   #1
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IRS free file is open

The IRS free file site is open, they offer free tax prep software from various vendors and free fillable forms is you don't qualify for the software.

https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file...taxes-for-free

I used OLT online taxes last year and it worked well, even handled the K-1 forms.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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Yeah but plenty of time to get the extension in
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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I've used TaxACT for several years, but they've drastically hiked prices.
I could have been using Free File (didn't realize), but this year I will.
I'm thinking about switching to OLT.com (even though I can choose several for free) since some years I won't be able to use IRS free file, and I'd rather choose one program to stick with without having to hunt for discounts or pay high prices.

... Later ...
Ugh, I've been trying OLT.com but it seems they insist that you enter a bunch of unneeded info, (e.g. all the details on 1099s) making it unusable. Wasted some time, but at least I found out.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:38 PM   #4
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I tried a few of the free services a few years ago, but wasn't happy with any of them. We've been using EZTaxReturn for the last several years. It does cost about $30 each year, but it walks you through the various steps and fills out the various forms automatically. It's a lot easier than the old paper forms and we get our refund faster too.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #5
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Note that typically IRS Free File is free in a broader range of cases than the free versions on the providers' websites.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:14 PM   #6
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Some more links.

Free File Software Lookup Tool
https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/wizard.jsp

Free File Software Offers
https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp

Note:"If your adjusted gross income was $66,000 or less, you will find one or more free software options only available through Free File at IRS.gov. Review each company's offer to make sure you qualify for your free federal return.

Some companies offer free state tax returns; some charge a fee. For more information, see software offers below and detailed information on company websites. The following states provide a free state tax return in partnership with private software companies via the Free File Alliance: AR, AZ, DC, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NY, OR, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV." (Just 23 states.)
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:22 PM   #7
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IL State provides their own free online tax filing, and it's really easy to use.

Of course I'd prefer to live in FL and not do a State return at all.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:38 PM   #8
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The TaxAct version that you can access via the IRS Free File site, which I used last year to file for free, upcharges you $25 plus an additional state filing fee if you have to use Schedule D at all. I have one Schedule D transaction to report, so I won't be using TaxAct this year.

So I'm starting with TurboTax this year. So far so good, but we'll see if we make it all the way through for free. I can ignore the upsells and am willing to retype stuff, but I'm not keen to pay money to file my taxes.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
The TaxAct version that you can access via the IRS Free File site, which I used last year to file for free, upcharges you $25 plus an additional state filing fee if you have to use Schedule D at all. I have one Schedule D transaction to report, so I won't be using TaxAct this year.
Thanks for the warning. I decided to stick with TaxACT (I found olt.com annoying) and I've just just entered rough figures for now, so I'll see if I run into this problem when I finalize it and try to file.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
IL State provides their own free online tax filing, and it's really easy to use.

Of course I'd prefer to live in FL and not do a State return at all.
LOL, me too Sunset!!!
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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So I'm starting with TurboTax this year. So far so good, but we'll see if we make it all the way through for free. I can ignore the upsells and am willing to retype stuff, but I'm not keen to pay money to file my taxes.
I started using the freefile site some years ago for my mothers return. I used turbotax for hers and it was fine although I have never liked their UI. One caveat with TT is they have two free editions. One through the freefile is free, the one one their site is limited to simple returns and upsells.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/25...d-free-edition

After TaxAct increased prices substantially last year I checked to see what I could use. I started with FreeTAx USA, got all the way through only to find the Sch K-1 were not handled correctly and they confirmed by email. I didn't qualify for TaxAct, So I tried OLT and it worked well, no problems with it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:42 AM   #12
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...So I tried OLT and it worked well, no problems with it.
Did you find a way around entering every little detail of every 1099 etc, even though the IRS doesn't need or want this info?
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
I started using the freefile site some years ago for my mothers return. I used turbotax for hers and it was fine although I have never liked their UI. One caveat with TT is they have two free editions. One through the freefile is free, the one one their site is limited to simple returns and upsells.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/25...d-free-edition

After TaxAct increased prices substantially last year I checked to see what I could use. I started with FreeTAx USA, got all the way through only to find the Sch K-1 were not handled correctly and they confirmed by email. I didn't qualify for TaxAct, So I tried OLT and it worked well, no problems with it.
Thanks.

I was careful to follow the link from the IRS free file site and log in to TurboTax that way.

If TurboTax doesn't work out for some reason I'll try OLT next.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:11 AM   #14
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Thanks.

I was careful to follow the link from the IRS free file site and log in to TurboTax that way.

If TurboTax doesn't work out for some reason I'll try OLT next.
I've had good luck with OLT, used it the previous two years and already started my 2017 return, I don't itemize so my returns are fairly straight forward. If you used OLT the previous year you have the option of pulling in form information (1099's, etc) from last years returns so all you need to do is fill in the $ amounts.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:16 PM   #15
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I have used FREETaxUSA for the 2016 and 2017 tax years. Totally Free for Federal but they charge something like $18 for a State Return. In my case OH has free online filing for state taxes so it was FREE all the way around. FREETaxUSA has a couple of up-sells, that can be ignored. FTUSA also keeps date from year to year. Already finished 2017 Federal return just waiting until 1/21 when the IRS opens for filing.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:22 AM   #16
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Dumb question here.

When you enter all your personal financial information into a "free" tax prep web site, is there any regulation as to what they DO with it?

Not only is there a potential for hacking, but do we know if any of this information is sold? Given the way we all accept Facebook, Google and Amazon knowing (and selling) every detail of our lives, I'm thinking maybe these guys do that too.

I'm not suggesting a big conspiracy, but am reminded of the saying "if it's free, then YOU are the product."
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:18 AM   #17
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Dumb question here.

When you enter all your personal financial information into a "free" tax prep web site, is there any regulation as to what they DO with it?

Not only is there a potential for hacking, but do we know if any of this information is sold? Given the way we all accept Facebook, Google and Amazon knowing (and selling) every detail of our lives, I'm thinking maybe these guys do that too.

I'm not suggesting a big conspiracy, but am reminded of the saying "if it's free, then YOU are the product."
Probably have similar risk whether you use the free or paid version but companies that are part of the IRS Free File do have to meet certain requirements.

Quote:
Does Free File use secure technologies?
Yes, Free File uses secure technologies. The Free File companies’ proprietary software is approved by IRS. All Free File companies obtain third-party privacy and security certificates. Taxpayers enter tax information in a secure session, and the Free File companies transmit tax returns using secure technologies. Taxpayers will receive an email from the Free File company stating whether the return has been accepted or rejected by the IRS.
In addition, the Free File tax software companies must comply with all federal rules governing e-filing and regulations covering taxpayer privacy. The companies may not disclose or use tax return information for purposes other than tax return preparation without the knowing, informed and voluntary consent of the taxpayer. These companies are also subject to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Privacy and Safeguards Rules.


May a Free File Alliance company share my data with anyone besides the IRS?
No. As part of the agreement, the Free File Alliance companies must adhere to the strict privacy standards of the IRS. Only with your permission and in accordance with Treasury regulations may the company disclose your tax return information.


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Old 01-14-2018, 10:11 AM   #18
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I do my taxes on an Excel spreadsheet, then put the numbers into the irs.gov fillable forms, then print and mail them.

In the past, the fillable forms didn't do even the basic math on the form. My state's fillable forms do that. That would be a nice, simple, upgrade.
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:35 AM   #19
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I use turbotax Premier download. Yes I pay for it but I see the forms, see the calculations and worksheets. Now if only I remember to save a copy offline so when my computer dies I have the info.
I liked on-line for years because of the history saved but they made it almost impossible to use with their annoying interview questions.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:02 AM   #20
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I have used FREETaxUSA for the 2016 and 2017 tax years. Totally Free for Federal but they charge something like $18 for a State Return. In my case OH has free online filing for state taxes so it was FREE all the way around. FREETaxUSA has a couple of up-sells, that can be ignored. FTUSA also keeps date from year to year. Already finished 2017 Federal return just waiting until 1/21 when the IRS opens for filing.
+1 Easy to use.
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