Do a quick web search for tax filing software and you’ll get thousands of hits, one of them being Free1040taxreturn.com.
Free1040taxreturn.com is available to any consumer, but also through the Free File program lead by the Federal government. The purpose of the program is to give middle-income earners an opportunity to file their tax return at no cost.
If you’re under 70 years old with an adjusted gross income of $62,000 or less, you can qualify for Free File through this website, unless you live in Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee or Texas.
In this post, we’re going to go over how to file a tax return on Free1040taxreturn.com from start to finish.
The Tax Prep Process
The first step of this process is similar to most online tax software. You create an account and choose the tax form you want to fill out. The options on this website are the 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040.
For the purpose of this example, I used the 1040ez form. This is an express form for taxpayers who make under $100,000, don’t have dependents and are single (or married filing jointly). When using the 1040EZ form, the only credit you can take is the earned income credit. And you can’t claim any adjustments to income.
These are the fields you’re asked to fill out in the first section:
Next, you’ll answer questions about your filing status including whether you have dependents, if you’ll be using the earned income credit and if you’re exempt from health care coverage.
The final page of introductory questions are the birthdates of you and your spouse, if you’re filing jointly, and which state you need to file taxes for.
Entering Taxable Income
Moving on to wages. In the income section, you enter the information from your W-2. Unlike other online tax software like TurboTax and H&R Block, your information doesn’t auto-populate when you put in the Employer ID. So, you’ll have to check and double check the W-2 page to make sure you’re reporting the right wages, tax withheld, etc.
State Tax Returns
From the W-2 section, Free1040taxreturn.com takes you directly into a state questionnaire. There you answer questions to figure out how much you owe for State tax.
And that’s it for form 1040EZ. You move on to a page to calculate your tax return and it will tell you how much you’re going to get in a refund or how much you owe for Federal and State tax.
The Free1040taxreturn.com Help Center
The website has a help area, but it’s antiquated. There’s a pull-down menu you can click through to find answers to your own questions. If you have questions not answered in the support center you can submit a message form on the “contact us” page. A customer service representative will get back to you within 24 hours.
Free1040taxreturn.com Benefits and Costs
Free1040taxreturn.com guarantees security, has a 100% accuracy guarantee and no hidden charges. If you used the site in the past you can transfer information from your last return to help you answer questions for the current year.
According to Free1040taxreturn.com, refunds will be in your account within 21 days of the IRS accepting your return. This site also provides federal tax return extensions for free which can come in handy if you can’t file your taxes before the April 18th deadline.
As mentioned, Free1040taxreturn.com is free unless you live in Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee or Texas. If you live in any of these states the tax return will cost $9.95.
If you meet the requirements for free Federal filing and live in Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma or West Virginia, you can also file your State tax return for free. Otherwise, State tax returns cost $19.95.
Who Should Use Free1040taxreturn.com?
This site is for someone with a very simple tax return. The software is compatible with many tax forms including the Schedule C, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC and others (find a full list here), but the website loses points with user friendliness.
There isn’t a robust help center section you can turn to for guidance. There doesn’t appear to be a phone number on the site you can use to reach out to someone directly either. And when you’re finished with the tax return (at least for the 1040EZ form) there isn’t an audit process other than reviewing a .pdf of your tax return.
If you’re looking for a software that’s intuitive, this probably isn’t the one. And for those hoping to take advantage of the Free File program, there’s other easy-to-use online tax software available.