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Don't Want to Pay for TurboTax? These 5 Tax Filing Software Are Free

Experts say to consider these if you're looking to save some money when paying the IRS.

Even though it may be one of the best-known options, there are plenty of other free ways to file with the IRS that aren't TurboTax. Depending on your situation, budget-conscious taxpayers can often take advantage of one of the many easy-to-use software programs that can help simplify the process and maybe even score a big refund. If you're still looking, we've asked the experts what they think are the best tools available for settling up with the government without having to pay any extra fees. Read on for five free tax filing software if you don't want to pay for TurboTax.

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5 Tax Filing Software That Are Free

1. FreeTaxUSA

Shot of a young woman using a laptop and going through documents while working from home

It makes sense that someone would want to minimize or eliminate any extra fees if you're already paying your annual dues to the government. Fortunately, one easy-to-use program can help you get your information in order without breaking the bank.

"FreeTaxUSA is a great software that offers free federal tax return filing services for individuals," Levon L. Galstyan, a certified public accountant at Oak View Law Group in California, tells Best Life. "It offers step-by-step guidance, error-checking, and easy-to-use forms to help users file their tax returns. And if you do end up needing more, it also provides various paid options for more complex financial situations."

2. Cash App Taxes

Cropped shot of a couple going over their finances together at home

It can feel good sitting down to file your taxes thinking you've found a free software program that will suit your needs. But one expert warns that if you're not careful, it can be easy to get duped.

"The big thing with free tax software is to avoid the 'gotchas,'" says Robert Farrington, founder and CEO of The College Investor. "Many tax filing companies advertise 'start for free,' which actually means 'pay when you file' and not that you get to use their software for free. And many people don't find out they have to pay until they've spent an hour entering all their information."

"The only truly free option for both federal and state returns this year is Cash App Taxes," Farrington says. "It allows you to file federal and state returns for free. But it is limited in some areas, such as not allowing multiple states."

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3. H&R Block Free Online

An H&R Block tax services storefront with a customer walking by
Shutterstock / Northfoto

As one of TurboTax's biggest competitors, H&R Block is known for its storefront locations and experts who can help ensure you file correctly. But the company also provides a free option for some qualifying taxpayers that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

"H&R Block Free Online is a great software option that offers a user-friendly interface and helps individuals and families file their federal and state tax returns for free," says Galstyan. "It's built on a simple navigation system that guides users through the process of entering their tax information. And for those willing to pay a little more, it also provides free support via phone, email, or chat."

4. TaxSlayer

I've got all the paperwork here

TurboTax may be the software with the most name recognition, but it's definitely not the only way to get your taxes filed without paying extra.

"My favorite free TurboTax alternative is TaxSlayer," says Forrest McCall, personal finance expert and owner of Don't Work Another Day. "I've used it to file taxes for multiple years, and the software is extremely simple to navigate and free for most people. In addition, it provides guidance when entering your information, making the entire process a breeze."

"If you have a more unique filing situation, it's going to cost you, but even then, it's still very similarly priced to TurboTax," he says. "Overall, I think it's a great free alternative to TurboTax for straightforward filings."

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5. IRS Free File

Shot of a young woman using a laptop and going through paperwork while working from home

Even the government knows that simple tax preparations can feel complicated. That's why there's a direct option that can help those who qualify to submit their financial information for the year.

"The IRS Free File program is a partnership between the IRS and various tax software companies," explains Galstyan. "It offers free tax preparation software to individuals or families with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less. The program provides various software options—including online and downloadable versions—and supports federal and state tax returns."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date financial information from top experts and the latest news and research, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the money you're spending, saving, or investing, always consult your financial advisor directly.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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