Monday, February 21, 2011

wanna file your federal taxes for free?

Me too! Here's how.

As you may or may not be aware or maybe you just choose to ignore it, taxes are due April 18, 2011.

Some of you probably don't know my history of taxes for the past two years. I'll sum it up with a quick "it hasn't been pretty" and leave it at that.

Last year, I used TurboTax. It really was as easy as those annoying commercials claim. Cartoons and all.

I knew this year's results would be a bit different (heck it really wasn't hard to improve on the past two years of just getting crushed by the government). I had been planning on using TurboTax again when my Uncle Bob came through...yet again.

This year, the IRS is offering free services to file federal taxes. Yes, you read that right: FREE. I'll do anything to save $30-50! I spent my morning off filing my federal and state taxes - who doesn't want to spend a holiday devoted to taxes?

With your W-2(s) in hand, here's how to do it

1. Go to www.irs.gov
2. Click "e-file My Return for Free" under the "I Need To" tab on the right-hand side
3. Read steps 1-2-3 (Hint: Step 1 explains who to acquire a PIN number you'll need if you choose to e-file so really do read the FAQs)
4. Follow the steps and choose the Free File company that fits you (I chose TAX Act and it was very comprehensive)
5. Voila - walk through those steps and you're done!

Remember while some of these services file both your federal and state taxes simultaneously, most states offer a free return file on the state website.

I'm happy to report that though I still owe money, I'm glad to not owe money to the company who helped tell me I owed money. We circle back to "the little things."

"Happy" tax filing!

Toothpaste for Dinner

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