How to file your tax return for free online this year

free tax filing online

  • Tax Day
    2019
    is Monday, April 15.
  • The IRS has opened up its free tax filing portal,
    which lists companies where taxpayers who earned less than $66,000
    in 2018 can file their federal return for free.
  • The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 28 and
    provide
    refunds
    to taxpayers, despite the
    partial government shutdown
    .
  • You can file your taxes once you receive your W-2 form from
    your employer, which must be filed and postmarked on or before
    January 31.

Despite one of the longest-running
government shutdowns
in history, the 2019 tax season will
proceed as normal.

On Friday, the IRS released an updated
version of its IRS Free File
Lookup tool
to help taxpayers navigate free tax filing options.
The IRS will begin
accepting tax returns
on Monday, January 28. 

If your income was less than $66,000 in 2018, you can file your
federal tax return for free; the IRS lists 12 different tax
preparers, including
H&R Block
and TurboTax. Some
companies also offer free tax filing for state returns, while
others charge a fee. 

Read more:
The IRS will accept tax returns even if the partial government
shutdown continues, and you can file as early as January 28

You can still file for free if you make more than $66,000, but
to do so you’ll need to use the Free File Fillable Forms, which
will be available online January 28. The IRS recommends using
those forms only if you have experience preparing tax returns on
your own.

Most tax-related documents must be submitted by your employer or
other institution by January 31, and the statements must be
postmarked by that date as well. That means you should have
everything you need by early February.

Once you’re ready to file your taxes, the IRS recommends
electronically filing and requesting direct deposit for your
refund. You’ll typically get your
tax refund within three weeks
, rather than the standard six
weeks, and it’s
safer than getting a check in the mail
.

Experts say you should file ASAP, despite the government shutdown

Despite earlier reports that refunds would not be paid out in a
timely manner due to the government shutdown, the IRS said
in a
press release
 this week that processes would continue as
normal.

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their
refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the
hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers
during this period,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Retti said.

Experts say taxpayers shouldn’t wait for the dust to settle
should the government shutdown continue — file ASAP.

“File early as you normally would and at least secure a place in
line for when refunds will be issued. Don’t wait until things get
back to normal,” Ed Slott, a certified public accountant who
founded IRAHelp.com, told
Business Insider.

Mike Savage, a CPA and the CEO of 1-800Accountant, had similar
advice.

“It is still the best practice to file as soon as they can, but
if they plan on receiving the refund at a specific time for
budgeting purposes, they will need to plan further ahead in case
the refund does not come through in time,” Savage told Business
Insider.

Read more:


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How to file your tax return for free online this year