Last-minute options ahead of tax deadline 

There are a few free options to file your tax returns before Monday's deadline. Metro Creative
There are a few free options to file your tax returns before Monday's deadline. Metro Creative

Whether you’ve been putting it off or simply forgot to do it, fret not, there’s still time to file your taxes before Monday’s deadline. 

For many people, a professional accountant is not needed to file simple taxes. Thankfully, there are a few free options that should help to not only ensure that all taxes are paid, but also that you get the maximum refund you are entitled to. 

For all options, a W-2 form is needed. Other forms may be necessary to have depending on the types of income received. 

Here are some of the top free filing options, including dealing directly with the IRS via a new pilot program. 


For those who would like to deal directly with the government, the IRS has come up with a tool that allows you to file online with the IRS. This pilot program is only being offered in 12 states, including California. 

The program offers a step-by-step guide using a smartphone, tablet or computer as well as live online support from IRS staff from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Should extra help be needed, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who would like to meet face-to-face with an IRS employee. 

The closest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center office is located in Van Nuys at 6230 Van Nuys Blvd. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday until 6:30 p.m. 

To learn more about filing with the IRS, visit 

Turbo Tax 

A tool that has been around since 2007, the free edition of Turbo Tax allows you to input all tax-related information and only pay once filing has been completed. 

The program can be used on a desktop or via mobile apps on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Most people can simply take a picture of their W-2 and the program will enter the information automatically. 

Turbo Tax covers the following types of tax returns: 

  • W-2 income. 
  • Interest or dividends (1099-INT/1099-DIV) that don’t require filing a Schedule B. 
  • IRS standard deduction. 
  • Earned Income Tax Credit. 
  • Child Tax Credit. 
  • Student loan interest deduction. 

Business income, stock sales, rental property income and other forms of credits, deductions or income that require other forms to be filled out are not included in the free version of the program. Paid options with Turbo Tax start at $89 and offer expert assistance, while the full-service option starts at $129. There is a higher cost for each state that a return is filed in. 

Should the IRS require an audit of your tax return filed via Turbo Tax, the company offers free step-by-step guidance and an option to speak with an expert. 

Other paid options are also available with more services. 

For more information on using Turbo Tax, visit 

H&R Block 

Another company that allows you to file simple taxes for free, H&R Block is offered on desktop and Apple and Android devices. 

The free version of the program offers many of the same services as Turbo Tax and is best used for those who have simple returns. Should you be having second thoughts, a tax pro can check your returns for $75. 

The company’s website states that the following services are available for free: 

  • Simple returns. 
  • Students. 
  • Unemployment income. 
  • W-2 employees. 
  • Child Tax Credit. 
  • Earned Income Tax Credit. 

Like Turbo Tax, there are paid options that offer more services. Options to pay for more services start at $55 and can be as high as $115. Each of the paid options requires a $49 fee for each state in which a return is filed. 

There is also a service for U.S. citizens living overseas who need to file taxes. 

For more information on H&R Block’s services, visit 

Tax returns must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, unless an extension is granted by the IRS. 

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