Don't Waste Your Money: IRS 'free filing' may not be free - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: IRS 'free filing' may not be free

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(Toledo News Now) -

Have you filed your taxes yet? If not, you may be tempted to use the IRS' "free filing" website. However, you may still face fees to file for free.

We're now in peak tax filing season. These days, many of us file free through the IRS website. But it's not as simple as just going to the site and filling out your taxes. It turns out there are quite a few catches.

The Free File section at www.irs.gov will link you to more than a dozen different companies that will let you file free of charge. Sounds simple. However, many of these sites will try to "upsell" you to a paid program, almost from the start. Don't give them a credit card number.

Another thing that trips up some taxpayers is that you must earn less than $57,000 a year. Still, since most Americans do, that's not a problem for most taxpayers.

Doesn't That Stink?

But from the Doesn't that Stink file comes three common catches you may encounter with the free file programs.

-Catch #1: You may still have to pay as much as $30 to file your state return.  

-Catch #2: If you choose TurboTax - the #1 program - the income limit is not $57,0000. The limit is just $31,000 for most people.

-Catch #3: Free filing from several services, including Liberty Tax and 1040.com, require you to be under the age of 53.

The Good News

There are enough options, so you should be able to find another service that will take you.

Will the IRS ever make free filing easy and free for everyone? Tax advisors say no, not as long as there is a whole industry built around tax filing. It's still worth checking out these sites to see if you qualify so you don't waste your money.

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