Which Tax Service is Free and How to Get the Quickest Refund

Tax season can be a stressful time for many, but it doesn't have to be. With the right guidance and resources, filing taxes can be a breeze. Guided Tax Preparation offers free online tax preparation and filing on a partner IRS site, with no cost to those who qualify. The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs also provide free help to eligible taxpayers.

Companies associated with Free File may not disclose or use tax return information for purposes other than preparing tax returns without your informed and voluntary consent. For those who need more assistance, there are paid versions of tax preparation services that are a first-rate option for tax filers with simple and complex tax situations. A federal grant program helps community organizations provide free tax preparation to low- and moderate-income people, people with disabilities, seniors, and people who speak limited English. IRS Free File allows you to prepare and file your federal tax return online through guided tax preparation, on a partner IRS site, or through fillable Free File forms.

TurboTax works hard to protect your information so you can file your taxes for free and with complete confidence. File your federal and state tax returns electronically with direct deposit to get your tax refund as quickly as possible. Usually (but not always), these packages work for people who only have income from a job and don't detail it on their tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax advice are usually retired people associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

If you decide to mail a tax return, the refund can take six to eight weeks after the IRS receives it. Whether you file your return using online tax software or a tax professional, you still have to do most of the legwork to get organized. To view the balance due, payment history, or other information for your tax account, create or view your account at some tax sites. Taxpayers also have the option of preparing their own basic federal and state tax return for free using web-based tax preparation software with an IRS-certified volunteer who will guide you through the process. The quickest way to get a tax refund is to file it online and select direct deposit as a refund method.

No matter how you file your taxes, there is free tax software on the market that can help you do it quickly and efficiently. This information may be different from what you see when you visit the site of a financial institution, service provider, or specific product.