It isn’t too difficult to find a place to file your federal tax return for free, but finding a service to file your state return for free is another story.
So if you are asking “where can I file my state taxes for free?” – you are in for good news!
I did a little digging and found a few options to consider . . . .
How to File Your State Tax Return for Free!
As you have probably noticed, many places offer a free filing of a Federal return but don’t offer free state filing. But there are a few ways to get your state tax return done for free.
1. Credit Karma Tax (My Top Pick)
Credit Karma Tax offers a legitimate totally free way to prepare and file both your state and federal taxes. There are no gimmicks, no upsells and it is a totally legitimate offer.
Credit Karma Tax works best for those who are employed by someone else versus business owners and freelancers. But, rest assured that if Credit Karma can handle your tax situation, then they will. For free.
Get started with Credit Karma Tax.
Turbotax (for a limited time) has rolled out their Absolute Zero program where you can get your Federal, State, and Efile all done free.
I honestly am not sure why they are doing it that way and giving it away like that, but they are for a limited time.
Other Free State Income Tax Filing Websites
4. On-Line Taxes – This one is pretty simple. You have to have an adjusted gross income within a certain range. If you don’t qualify both returns cost $7.95. They are a little bit different than many of the other places in that they offer free customer service with a toll-free number, e-mail, and live tax help. They also allow you to view the forms before paying.
Do I need to file a State tax return?
Sadly, most of us in the United States do.
So just check the list below to see if your state is listed. If it is, then you probably are going to want to use some of the free state tax filing options above.
(Accurate at the time of the last update: 3-8-2021)
- New Hampshire*
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
(* these are special cases, talk to your accountant)
How to File Your Federal Tax Return for Free!
In the past, I have gone to the IRS free file webpage, because they have links to a bunch of tax preparers that offer free tax return filing (for federal anyway). Some of them offer a state return to be filed for free as well, but most don’t.
If you are interested in this option, you will have to use the links on the IRS page in order to get the free efile deal they are offering. Many of the tax preparation websites listed will not offer you the free efile if you go directly to their website.
Another Option: Go to Your Local State Government Website
Also, you can go directly to your state’s Department of Revenue website to see if they offer a free income tax filing option.
Worst Option: Get the Paper Forms and Mail Them In
Yes, it sounds pretty archaic, but if you really want to file your state return for free and don’t qualify for the options listed above, this might not be a bad option. If you have already completed the federal form online, it should be pretty easy to fill out the state return. You can get the forms from your local library or you can print them off at your state’s Department of Revenue website.
One Last Tip About E-Filing Your Tax Return
Do it before Friday morning. The government processes tax returns in week-long blocks. So Friday morning at 11 am, they process all the returns they received over the previous week.
So if you can sneak it in right before the cutoff (Fridays at 11 am EST) you will just get your refund that much quicker . . . .