In 2009, about 95 million people (about 31% of the U.S. population) filed their taxes electronically, a route which has numerous benefits: You can submit your taxes at any hour of the day, receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, and get your refund money within ten days via direct deposit. But, there's more.
Get FREE Tax Software if You Made Less Than $57,000 In 2009
You may be eligible for free tax preparation software under the IRS Free File program. Companies such as TurboTax and H&R Block have partnered up with the IRS to grant free tax filing help to citizens with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $57,000 or less in 2009.
While most of the services offer free assistance for federal filing, it will most likely cost you extra to use the same company to file your state taxes (about $25 to $30, depending on the company). Also, if your taxes are a bit more complex, because you own a home, made donations, have medical expenses, or are in one of many more complex situations, you might need a "deluxe" version of the software. This will generally cost an extra $35 to $50, depending on the level of service you add on.
Try Out the Different Software for Free
Fortunately, you can test out all this online software—including the additional "deluxe" offerings—for free, as you're only committed to pay when you finish and file your taxes. So, shop around! See which service you find the most user-friendly. The earlier you start poking around, the more time you'll have to find your favorite e-filing service.