Free state and federal tax filing options for 2018

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Free state and federal tax filing options for 2018
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The IRS Free File program will again offer free tax prep software this year beginning on January 12.

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!

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 available January 12, 2018

  • 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 available January 29, 2018

  • Must know how to do your taxes yourself
  • Does math; offers only basic guidance
  • You must have your 2016 tax return
  • State tax prep is not available
  • E-file a free extension

Other free tax filing options for 2018

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.

While the company is supporting a dizzying array of tax forms, there are some limitations to the Credit Karma free tax product for the time being.

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
  • Schedule H – Household Employment Taxes
  • 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.

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 writes online.

“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.

RELATED: This new Trump tax calculator shows how much you’ll pay going forward

How to file your taxes for free regardless of your income

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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 savings tips to that unique subset of individuals. He can be reached at theo@clark.com.
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