Find a reputable business?

Business Consumer Alliance Blog

Free Tax Filing

Person Filing Tax Documents

As the tax filing deadline approaches, many are looking to file their taxes for free. Filers should be aware that some “free” offers are far from free. In March 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took administrative action against Intuit Turbo Tax, a very popular tax preparation provider, for their false “free” tax filing claims.

The action claims since at least 2016, TurboTax has advertised free filing fees to attract customers. Unfortunately for many, the service was not free. After many customers took time to enter their sensitive personal and financial information, they learned they had to upgrade to a paid TurboTax product to file taxes. Most tax filers can’t use the company’s “free” service because it is not available to millions of taxpayers, such as those who get a 1099 form for work in the gig economy, or those who earn farm income. According to the FTC, during 2020, two-thirds of all tax filers didn’t qualify for the “simple return”. There will be a hearing for the matter in September 2022.

For filers that are looking for ways to file their taxes for free, there are available resources. Here’s more information to assist you:

IRS Free File Program: Tax filers whose 2021 adjusted gross income was $73,000 or less may qualify for free guided tax preparation software for their federal taxes. The IRS Free File Online: Lookup Tool can be used to find which free software is available to you, based on your income and situation. Some of the options allow you to also prepare and file your state taxes for free.

Military OneSource MilTax:  Service members and veterans who meet eligibility requirements can utilize free tax services through MilTax. This includes easy-to-use tax preparation and e-filing software, personalized support from tax consultants, and up-to-date information on filing taxes.

Free File Fillable Forms:  Filers with 2021 adjusted gross income that was more than $73,000 can utilize the online version of IRS paper forms. For state tax returns visit your state’s tax agency.

If you find a company advertising free tax preparation services, check them out thoroughly. Start by searching the company’s reputation report at Ask the company what qualifications you need to file for free. Read all terms and conditions and make sure you agree before you enter any information.

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) has information for those looking to hire a tax preparer. Check out BCA’s blog “It's Tax Time-Choosing the Right Tax Preparer”. You’ll find information on choosing the type of tax preparer for your tax situation, questions to ask your preparer, and warning signs to watch for. Choose someone that is reputable and qualified. Check your return carefully for accuracy and ask questions before signing the return.

Share this information and make sure to follow Business Consumer Alliance on Facebook for trending information, scam alerts, and more.

About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.