How Costly Will Filing Your Own Taxes Be?
For individuals filing their tax returns through national preparation chains, the price typically runs between $100 to $200. Online tax preparation programs and software will range about $100 with the cost of buying the program and the filing fee. You can always choose to fill in paper tax forms, but the process can be inconvenient and confusing, especially if you are new to filing your own taxes. The IRS, however, does offer an electronic version of these forms that are free for anyone to use. Much like the paper forms, however, these forms are basic and may not be ideal for those without much experience filing on their own or those looking for more advanced error checking to avoid delays in getting back their refunds.
The most popular option for those choosing to file on their own is use IRS Free File. A number of leading tax preparation software companies offer free filing of the federal return (and some states). To qualify for free filing you have to access these companies through IRS.gov and have an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less. Some companies may have additional eligibility criteria such as being within a certain age range.
The benefit of tax preparation software for those looking to complete their tax return is the software's ability to ask questions tailored toward your individual situation. Software programs also simplify the process for individuals who need to claim disability, retirement, and other forms of income, thus ensuring even those with limited awareness of how deductions work can get the biggest possible refund and that their tax return is likely error free when filed.
Even if you don't qualify for free file, you can use still use tax software to complete the return. Since tax software programs don't charge until you file your return, you can check with several tax preparers for accuracy and then choose to file your program through a different method to save the fee.