CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many people who qualify for free tax filing end up paying in the end, because preparers make their free filing sites too tough to find.
That's finally changing this year.
Here are some changes you need to know about, so you don't waste your money.
There’s some good news about tax filing this year. The IRS has made it easier than ever to file free, by preventing companies from steering you to their paid sites.
But free filing still comes with some catches, including one very frustrating glitch.
The IRS has taken some of the frustration out of free filing.
Which sounds so easy but is often so difficult.
In past years, companies often hid their free filing pages, so that taxpayers ended up paying.
“It automatically put me in deluxe, and I said I did not make that kind of money!” one frustrated taxpayer said.
But under a new agreement with the IRS, tax prep firms like Turbo Tax have agreed to make their free file site easy to find - on Google or on their home page.
So if your adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less this year, you should qualify for free filing.
But from the doesn't that stink file, one catch that will trip up taxpayers again this year.
Not all companies use the $60,000 threshold: at tax act it's $59,000 and with Turbo Tax it’s just $36,000 for most people.
You might say doesn't that stink, if you start entering your data and find you don’t qualify with that preparer.
Your best bet is to simply start at the IRS website and go through their free file section. That way you'll end up with a preparer that meets your income, and you don't waste your money.