It’s time to file your federal income taxes—the deadline is April 15, 2019. You must file a return even if you don’t owe any tax.
Tax preparation can be stressful, but there are lots of resources available to help you. Here are some options.
FREE: Get help from IRS-certified volunteers
Did you make $55,000 or less in 2018? Do you have a disability or speak limited English? You might qualify for help filing your taxes under the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
If you are 60 or older, you can also get free help through Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). IRS-certified volunteers at this program specialize in answering questions about pension and retirement issues.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the government agency in charge of collecting federal taxes. Each state also has its own organization to collect local taxes. You may have to file both federal and state tax returns.
FREE: Use free online software
Free file software
If you made less than $66,000 in 2018, you can file your federal taxes for free using software from the Free File Program. Most of these programs will walk you through the process step by step as you fill out the form.
There are also free programs for help with state taxes. Look them up here.
Free fillable forms
Did you make more than $66,000 in 2018? Do you also have a copy of your 2017 tax return? If so, you can still file for free online, but will get only minimal guidance.
PAID: Use a paid software program
Many software companies can help you file your taxes online with easy-to-use, guided programs for a fee.
The best-known tax softwares are “Turbo Tax”, “H&R Block” (software system) or “Tax Act”, just to name a few of them.
PAID: Hire a professional
You can also hire someone to do your taxes. The price will vary depending on the complexity of your financial situation.
H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and Liberty Tax are some of the bigger tax preparation services. You can use this tool to find an IRS-authorized e-file provider near you.
It’s always a smart idea to get help with complicated jobs like tax preparation.