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Friday, February 4, 2011

No Free Lunch....., or Tax Returns

This is like buying a car for free, but the motor is extra.

As tax season gets in full swing, we have all noticed those ads for free do it yourself tax return preparation. Turbo Tax, H&R Block and TaxAct all offer free federal filing for the simplest of returns. (usually taxpayers with a W-2 from their employer and nothing else)

Anyone with a more complicated return (like those with itemized deductions, small businesses, securities sales, educational credits, etc.) will not be able to take advantage of the "free" filing.

Even if you have a very simple return, beware! The federal returns are free, but you must pay for the preparation and filing of your state income tax returns. These fees average $27.95 and up.

My advice is to make sure you are aware of your eligibility to use the free filing up front and determine what other costs will be unavoidable.

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