Turbo Tax is a well-known computerized and user-friendly tax preparation and filing system. It is a popular choice for people who prefer to do their own taxes or who want to file their tax returns electronically. Better yet, if you want to file for free with Turbo Tax, chances are that you can. Turbo Tax is one of the tax preparation companies that cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service to provide free federal tax-return preparation and filing for taxpayers whose income is below an annual threshold. That threshold was $57,000 for 2010, but it changes from year to year.
Wait until Jan. 15 or until you receive your W-2 form from your employer. The IRS opens its “Free File” system each year in mid-January. To make things easier, make sure you have all your financial records for the previous year organized.
Go to the IRS homepage at IRS.gov. Find the “e-File” logo and click on it. Next, click on “Individual Taxpayers” and then on “Free File.”
Click on the “I will choose a company” button. This will take you to a menu listing companies that participate in the Free File system. Find the Turbo Tax listing and click on the link.
Follow the instructions to create an account with Turbo Tax when the system takes you to the Turbo Tax website. When you do this through the IRS Free File system, the system will not charge you for preparing and filing your federal income tax return if your income is under the annual threshold
Enter your income and other information as prompted. When you are finished, you will be asked to electronically sign your return. To do this, you need your adjusted gross income from last year’s tax return or an IRS personal identification number. Finally, choose to electronically file your federal tax return, print a paper copy or do both.
State income tax returns are not covered by the Free File system. You do not have to use Turbo Tax to prepare and file your state tax return when you use Free File. However, if you do, you will be charged a fee.
- State income tax returns are not covered by the Free File system. You do not have to use Turbo Tax to prepare and file your state tax return when you use Free File. However, if you do, you will be charged a fee.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.