Filing your taxes doesn’t need to be expensive. Many tax preparation companies offer different editions of their software, including free versions, and the majority of Americans qualify for at least free Federal e-filing. Because of this, however, many of the companies will try to upsell you on the price to file your state taxes. Luckily, there are plenty of options to file both state and federal taxes for free.
The Free File options and requirements
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax software developers partnered in 2003 to offer a free option for e-filing federal tax returns. Today, the Free File program gives about 70 percent of all taxpayers a no-cost option for filing federal taxes. There are 13 online preparation options to choose from, including some from the most well-known tax software companies. Some options even work for those with complex tax situations, such as: itemized deductions, business income, or investment income.
There are limitations on who can use the Free File software. At a minimum, you must have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of no more than $62,000. Some of the options have stricter income requirements, age requirements, or are only for residents of select states.
Free File software options that also offer free state filing
Only a few Free File offerings include free state e-filing in addition to a free federal filing.
We’ve rounded up the tax preparation software that allows you to file both state and federal taxes through the Free File program.
Exceptions to the rule: Residents of Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington state, and Wyoming have no state-level income tax and may not need to file a state tax return at all. New Hampshire and Tennessee tax interest and dividend income above $2,400 and $1,250 respectively, and residents may need to file a state return only if they exceed this amount. If you live in one of these states, you may want to compare all the Free File options before choosing.
Tax Preparation Software with Free State and Federal Filing
Free state and federal filing for all states
H&R Block Free File – You must have an AGI of $62,000 or less and be between 17 and 50 years old. If you’re an active-duty military member with an AGI of $62,000 or less, there is no age requirement.
OnLine Taxes – You must have an AGI of $13,000 to $62,000 and there is no age requirement.
TurboTax Freedom Edition – You must have an AGI of $31,000 or less, be an active-duty military member with an AGI of $62,000 or less, or be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Free state and federal filing for some states
1040Now.net – You must have an AGI of $62,000 or less and be 60 or younger if you live in CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MT, NE, NJ, NM, OH, PA, UT or WI. There is no age requirement in other states. Free state filing is available in AL, AR, AZ, GA, ID, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NC, OK, OR, RI, SC, VT, VA, and WV.
FileYourTaxes.com – You must have an AGI of $8,000 to $62,000 and be between 15 and 65 years old. State filing is free for residents of Iowa, Idaho, Nevada, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Free1040TaxReturn.com – You must have an AGI $62,000 or less and be 70 years old or younger. State returns are free for residents of Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, or West Virginia. Free federal filing is not offered to residents of Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Texas.
TaxAct Free File – You must have an AGI of $50,000 or less and be 56 years old or younger, be an active-duty military member with an AGI of $62,000 or less, or be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Free state returns may be available for filers in AZ, AR, DC, GA, ID, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, and WV.
Other ways to get free federal and state filing
Not formally part of the Free File program, these software options have fewer limitations but still provide free federal and state tax preparation and filing.
United Way’s MyFreeTaxes – Offered from a partnership between United Way and H&R Block, this edition is free for all filers that made less than $62,000.
TurboTax Absolute Zero – There are no income or age requirements for the Absolute Zero edition, but you’re only eligible if you file a 1040EZ or a 1040A form without any business, contractor, or rental income, and with a standard deduction. The price may increase on March 18, 2016.
Free File Options for AGI Above $62,000: State-by-state free filing options
Feeling frustrated because you don’t qualify for a free state filing with online tax preparation software nor with United Way? You may still have one more option. A lot of individual states offer free filing directly through state-backed websites. However, there may not be tax preparation assistance and this isn’t available in all states.
Below, we go state-by-state and list additional free options for e-filing your state tax return. The state-specific offerings sometimes come from tax software companies or are created and managed by the state itself. They may not be as user-friendly as the third-party alternatives, some states only offer electronic fillable forms, but there are often less stringent requirements. Unless otherwise noted, none of the state-specific options have an income or age requirement.
Regardless of where you live, if you need further assistance or prefer to work with someone in person, you may be eligible for free tax preparation assistance from the AARP Tax-Aide or through the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
You can file resident and non-resident Alabama tax returns online at My Alabama Taxes (MAT) for free, but there’s no preparation assistance.
Alaska doesn’t have a state income tax.
Full-year residents with an AGI below $3,500 can file their Arizona state returns for free on Average1040.com. Arizona also offers free electronic fillable forms and filing to residents, part-year residents, and nonresidents.
Arkansas doesn’t provide additional free tax preparation or filing options.
California offers a state-run CalFile program that lets some full-year residents e-file for free. The requirements aren’t as strict as those of the federal FreeFile program, but there is a maximum Adjusted Gross Income requirement of $178,706 for single filers and $357,417 for joint filers. Among other requirements, you can’t take the Mortgage Income Credit, claim capital gains, or have business income or losses.
You can file a resident, part-year resident, or nonresident state tax return using Colorado’s free electronic filing system, Revenue Online. However, the site doesn’t offer preparation assistance. The Piton Foundation and Denver Asset Building Coalition offers free in-person tax help to Colorado households with a 2015 income of $53,000 or less.
Connecticut allows you to file your taxes online at the state’s revenue service site. To qualify, you must have filed a Connecticut state return the previous year, have no more than ten W-2s and 1099s, and not change your filing status between single and joint.
You can file a Delaware state income tax return for free through the state’s website.
Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, but Impact America offers free federal tax assistance to households with one or more children that earned up to $52,000, or $20,000 for households with no children.
The TaxSlayer Free File Edition offers free state returns to qualified Georgia filers. You must have an AGI of $62,000 or less and be 52 or younger or an active-duty military member.
Hawaii individual resident and non-resident income taxes can be filed and paid online for a $1 administration fee. However, the N-13 Resident Individual Income Tax Return (Short Form) isn’t eligible this year.
Idaho doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services.
Full-year Illinois residents can use MyTax Illinois to file their tax return for free if they have filed an Illinois state tax return before or have an Illinois driver’s license or ID.
Indiana doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services.
Full-year residents can file Iowa tax returns online for free with the eFile & Pay system.
Kentucky state-sponsored KY E-Tax lets users pay their taxes, but doesn’t provide preparation assistance.
You can file individual income tax returns on the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s website for free if you’ve filed a Louisiana state return after the 2004 tax year, or you have a Louisiana driver’s license or ID card.
Maine’s free I-file tax allows full-year residents to file and pay taxes. Some nonresident and part-year residents can also use it.
This year, Maryland’s free iFile service does not support nonresident tax forms, but it’s still working and free for residents.
Full-year residents can file their state taxes using Massachusetts’s WebFile for Income service.
Minnesota doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services.
Mississippi doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services
Montana allows first-time resident filers, non-residents, and part-time residents to file online with Taxpayer Access Point.
Full-year residents can file their Nebraska tax return with the state-run NebFile system.
Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax.
New Hampshire doesn’t have a state income tax, but there are taxes on investment income. Non-first-time filers can pay taxes with e-File New Hampshire.
NJ WebFile allows full-year filers, including first-time filers, to pay their New Jersey taxes online for free.
Full-year residents can pay New Mexico state income taxes with the Taxpayer Access Point. The state also provides free assistance and preparation assistance to citizens with an AGI of $22,000 or less.
The Benefit Bank of North Carolina provides free tax preparation and filing services to single filers with an AGI of $65,000 or less and joint filers with an AGI of $95,000 or less. There are no age or residency status requirements.
North Dakota provides free web-based fillable forms and interactive software to full-year residents.
Non-first-time filers can file and pay their Ohio state and school district income taxes with the state-run I-File system.
Oklahoma’s free Taxpayer Access Point is available to full-year residents.
Oregon has fillable forms and e-filing available to full-year residents.
Full-year residents can file their Pennsylvania state tax return and pay taxes using padirectfile.
Rhode Island doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services.
South Carolina offers full-year residents fillable forms and free e-filing with no age or income limitations. Impact America also has free tax prep assistance for South Carolina households with one or more children that earned up to $52,000, or $20,000 for households with no children.
South Dakota doesn’t have a state income tax.
Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax, but there are taxes on investment income. Residents can file a return and make a payment for free online. Impact America also offers free tax prep assistance to households with one or more children that earned up to $52,000, or $20,000 for households with no children.
Texas doesn’t have a state income tax.
Full-year, partial, and non-residents can pay Utah state taxes for free online at Utah’s Taxpayer Access Point.
Vermont residents can pay, but not file, their taxes online at VT Pay.
Virginia has free fillable forms and e-filing for full-year residents. There aren’t any age or income requirements.
Washington state doesn’t have a state income tax.
Washington, D.C. lets full-year residents use free fillable forms and e-filing. There aren’t any age or income requirements.
West Virginia doesn’t have additional free tax preparation or filing services.
Wisconsin residents, part-year residents, and non-residents can file and pay their taxes with the Wisconsin e-file forms and website.
Wyoming doesn’t have a state income tax.