Free state and federal tax filing options for 2019

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Free state and federal tax filing options for 2019
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The IRS Free File program is officially open again this year, offering free tax prep software and help figuring out the new tax law provisions.

Not familiar with the Free File program? This free program gives about 75% of American taxpayers access to free software or forms so you can get your taxes done for zero dollars!

RELATED: The new 1040 tax form: What you need to know

Free tax filing options from the IRS Free File program

There are two routes you can go here through the IRS Free File program when the program opens again this month:

Adjusted gross income below $66,000: Free File software now available

  • File your taxes with free, easy to use software
  • Free state return options are available
  • Use the Free File Software Lookup Tool to find free federal and free state return options

Adjusted gross income above $66,000: Free File fillable forms now available 

  • Must know how to do your taxes yourself
  • Does math; offers only basic guidance
  • You must have your 2017 tax return
  • State tax prep is not available
  • E-file a free extension
IRS Free File
IRS Free File

Other free tax filing options for 2019

Making a return again this year is Credit Karma’s free tax return prep software. This service debuted in 2017 and stands out from the IRS Free File offer because this one makes free prep software available to all regardless of income.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Credit Karma is a totally free service that makes money by recommending credit cards and loans that they believe would be suitable for you. It’s a service that’s long been recommended by money expert Clark Howard.

This year, there are some limitations to the types of returns and forms supported by the Credit Karma free tax product. Among other things, Credit Karma’s software does not support:

  • Part-year state returns
  • Multiple state returns
  • Nonresident state returns
  • Filing state taxes without filing federal taxes
  • State returns for married filing separately in community property states
  • Form 1116 – Foreign Tax Credit
  • Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income
  • Form 8332 – Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent

Click here for a complete list of exclusions.

Credit Karma Tax
Credit Karma Tax

How does CreditKarma make money?

“Our mission is to make financial progress possible for everyone. By understanding your credit and your taxes, Credit Karma can better assist you with your finances,” CEO Ken Lin has written online in the past.

“We can monitor your finances, help you make good financial decisions and suggest better credit cards, loans and insurance products. If you like a recommendation and get approved for a product through Credit Karma, we usually get paid.”

But note this well: You can’t use CreditKarma if you have a credit freeze in place

If you’ve followed our advice here on Clark.com and frozen your credit, you won’t be able to sign up for a new CreditKarma account to take advantage of their free tax filing offer.

In order to do so, you’ll have to temporarily thaw your credit and then sign up.

More tax stories on Clark.com

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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