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Take Advantage of Free e-File For Your Tax Return

By Erik Folgate

April 15th is 27 days away, and I can actually hear some of you clenching your teeth right now at the thought of it. Isn’t ridiculous that doing your taxes takes such a big chunk out of our free time? One of the few good things the IRS has ever done for us is partner up with companies to offer free e-filing for middle class taxpayers. If you made less than $54,000 adjusted gross income in 2007, you can qualify for free e-filing.

Now, the question is, which website is the best to use for the e-file? I recommend using TaxAct.com for your tax e-file. I’m not getting any compensation for recommending this company, it’s merely the one that I have used the past 3 years for filing my taxes. The reason that I use it is because the free TaxAct e-file will still guide you through many common deductions and tax credits by asking you a series of questions to see if you qualify for one of those deductions or credits. TaxAct.com is available to all states, your AGI must be less than $54,000, and you have to be between the ages of 19 to 54.

Here are some deductions and credits you need to make sure you look for on TaxAct.com’s e-file interface for young people:

  • The Lifetime Learning Credit: If you or your spouse took out student loans or paid for tuition in cash for an accredited graduate school program during 2007, you might be eligible for this credit.
  • Moving Expense Deductions: If you moved out of town this year for a new job or a job transfer, you might be able to deduct your moving expenses.
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction: You should have received in the mail or have a tax form available online that shows the interest you paid on your student loans during 2007. All of that money is deductible on your taxes.

Also, it’s completely free to request direct deposit for your tax return on TaxAct.com. There are some companies out there that will charge you a one-time fee if you want your return to be directly deposited into your tax account. Obviously, if you’re taxes are more complicated than the standard deductions, credits, and traditional income sources, a free e-file won’t work for you. I’ve heard that the free e-file on Turbo Tax is no good, but the programs that you pay for should be good enough to get through more complicated filings.

If you have a recommendation for other good free e-file applications, leave a comment below.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Dale Wyrick

    taxact.com is great to use. Although, i only recommend using the free file services if your taxes are very simple.
    ie, your a w-2 employee with adequate withholdings, little investment revenue and no home mortgage.

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