How I Prepared and Filed My Federal and State Taxes for Free

by Andy Hough on February 13, 2016

agi The past few years I have been able to prepare and file my taxes for free through either the IRS Free File site or through my tax season employer. Since I’m not working at the tax job this tax season it looked like I was going to need to use the IRS Free File site to do my taxes. The only drawback to using the Free File site is that using it I have to pay to file one of my state tax returns. Free File allows me to file my federal return and my Missouri return for free, but I have to pay for my Kansas return.

Luckily, I found out about MyFreeTaxes at United Way. They allow anyone who makes less than $62,000 a year (AGI) to file their taxes for free through their site. The $62,000 income cutoff is the same cutoff the IRS Free File site uses. The income cutoff is set to allow 70% of taxpayers to qualify to file for free. The MyFreeTaxes site uses the H&R Block online site to do the actual preparation and filing of the return. This worked out well for me since the past few years I’ve used H&R Block through the Free File site to do my taxes which allowed me to import some information from last year’s tax return to the current tax return. Since the return was prepared and filed using the same online H&R Block software I’ve been using the last few years it was easy for me to use. It was kind of a pain preparing my taxes this year since I had to figure out my income and expenses for three different businesses. Even though I didn’t pay any estimated taxes for these businesses I still got a roughly $3000 refund this year since I had a lot of taxes taken out at my jobs and took less than my full ACA subsidy during the year. Getting a big refund was a nice surprise since I was thinking I’d be getting a very small refund if I got a refund at all. The refund should show up in about a week or two. Another smaller nice surprise is that I didn’t have to pay to file my Missouri or Kansas taxes. I was able to prepare and file both my federal taxes and two state taxes for free.

If your income is less than $62,000 a year I’d recommend using MyFreeTaxes to prepare and file your taxes. I’ll keep using them to file my taxes as long as I qualify. If I’m able to increase my income enough that I no longer qualify I won’t complain about having to pay to file my taxes.

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