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File your taxes for free (if you make less than $50Gs)

Photo: Stacks of $100 bills banded together. Credit: 401kcalculator.org

Don’t be a sucker. You don’t have to be a CPA to do your taxes. You don’t have to go to Jackson Hewitt or H & R Block. Don’t fall prey to the dancing Statues of Liberty and Uncle Sams. You can complete and file your federal and state taxes with no cost in the comfort of your own home (or anywhere you have internet access).

Don’t be a dummy, either. I have seen plenty of folks who got their W2s together to give to someone else to do their taxes for a fee. it is not wise to break off some change to some lady in the hood you know to file your taxes. How do you know she is qualified? What are you going to do if you get audited by the IRS (Hey, it can happen…)? You might as well do it yourself and use an official service, so you can keep 100% of your return and have someone to call/blame when you get in a jam.

Doing your taxes is very simple if you just follow the prompts provided by your tax preparation software of choice. The IRS has kindly put a list together of free filing software providers for you on their website: https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp?ck

The services I have personal experience with and recommend are H & R Block, MyFreeTaxes.com, and TurboTax (federal and state).

Veteran Tip
Always ‘review your taxes’ so you can save a copy as PDF.  In some cases, your state return will not be free. I have gone all the way through the process if the software was going to charge me for the filing just so I could get the PDF and copied it over to a paper return.  It’s important to always keep a copy of your tax return. You need your Adjusted Gross Income or your special pin # from the previous year each time you file. You want a copy of your taxes for a million good reasons.


If you try to do your taxes and you still need 1 on 1 assistance, there are community resources available here in town to advise you on or assist you with your taxes.

Graphic: Screenshot of NextStep flyer with tax sites and timesNext Step KC Free Tax Preparation

Next Step KC operates several IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation sites in the Kansas City area.  VITA offers free tax help to hard-working taxpayers with incomes of $54,000 and below who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

Click the image to the right for their flyer or visit their website for more info: nextstepkc.org/free-tax-preparation


You can also search on the IRS website for tax prep help sites at irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/






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