Best Online Tax Filing Software (Includes Free + Cheap Options)

Most people file their taxes by the end of January or early February. This is because it is a lot of work to collect all of the documents you need to file your taxes from different sources. So many people choose to stick with the tax filing service they have used in the past, even if this means that the process is complicated.

If you have been using H&R Block or TurboTax, you can seamlessly move to another tax filing service.  FreeTaxUSA is free, has no income limitations, and will cover most tax situations.

Free and cheap tax Filing options


Federal tax returns are free at FreeTaxUSA.  If you file a free return, support is only by email and amendments are $15. You can pay $6.99 to get the Deluxe version which provides live chat support, unlimited amendments, and audit help. State returns are $14.99.

Here are some discount codes you can use to save money.
FREETAXUSA10 – 10% off
PROMOWIN – 25% off

The company behind FreeTaxUSA also has another website TaxHawk, which offers an identical service. Use discount code TAXHAWK10 for 10% off.

Cash App Taxes (previously Credit Karma Tax)

In 2020, Credit Karma Tax was sold to Square and became Cash App Taxes. Federal and state tax (limited to one state) filing is free through the app or online.

Note that you will need to download the Cash App to use the tax preparation service. Cash App Taxes has a list of forms and situations that it doesn’t support. 

Tax Act

Tax Act has four tiers

  • Free version – W-2, Unemployment, Child Tax Credit, Earned Income
  • Deluxe – Itemized deduction, student loan interest, 1099-INT/DIV, child & dependent care, HSA ($25)
  • Premier – investments and property income, sale of home ($35)
  • Self-employed – for freelancers, contractors, and business owners ($65)

AARP Tax-Aide

AARP Tax-Aide provides in-person and virtual help to anyone. There are no income limits, age, or membership limitations.


TaxSlayer offers multiple tiers of tax preparation service

  • Simply Free – W-2, unemployment income, student loan interest
  • Classic – Works for any tax situation. Includes all IRS forms, credits, and deductions. No restrictions. ($18)
  • Premium – Includes priority phone and email support, live chat, and access to a tax professional ($38)
  • Self-employed – for small business owners, contractors, side hustlers filing both a 1099 and a W-2 ($48)

Free Fillable Forms on IRS website

IRS has free fillable forms on its website. It works well if you have a simple tax return. It’s worth using software to check the work.

OnLine Taxes

OnLine Taxes offers free federal. State returns are $9.95. The website has a very simple interface similar to Cash App Taxes.

Free tax filing options with income restrictions

IRS Free File

IRS Free File is free for both federal and state taxes if your AGI is less than $72,000

VITA (in-person)

Volunteer based in person professional assistance or VITA,  offers free tax filing if your AGI is less than $58,000

VITA Virtual

Virtual VITA is free if your AGI less than $66,000

Why you should avoid using H&R Block and TurboTax for filing taxes

For years, H&R Block and Intuit have lobbied Congress to prevent the government from offering simple prefilled filing for taxpayers. This is for obvious reasons – the tax filing business is a cash cow for H&R Block and Intuit. The lobbying efforts of these companies have increased tax filing costs for millions of taxpayers.

Intuit has been telling its investors

We anticipate that governmental encroachment at both the federal and state levels may present a continued competitive threat to our business for the foreseeable future.

Bottom Line

There are several free and inexpensive options to file taxes. These tax filing options cost a fraction of what H&R Block and TurboTax charge. Since many products offer different features, choose a product that is appropriate for your tax situation.

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