3 Ways to File Business Taxes for Free in 2023

File Business Taxes Free

Here’s how to file your taxes for free this year. It’s that time again: Tax Time! Luckily, if you meet certain criteria, you may just be able to file your business federal taxes–and possibly your state taxes–without spending a penny!

The services below are going to work for contractors, small businesses, and LLCs that use the Schedule C from Form 1040 to complete their taxes. This means you need to be a freelancer, solopreneur, contractor, etc..

Unfortunately these tools below don’t include free filing for corporations and s corps.

What Are the Ways to File Business Taxes for Free?

Here are three ways to file business taxes free this year:

1. FreeTaxUSA (FreeTaxUSA.com)

FreeTaxUSA has a great interface and keeps things super clean and simple. And they offer free tax filing for the self-employed. Here’s more…

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • State returns – $12.95

FreeTaxUSA offers a comprehensive free Federal tax filing. State tax filing costs $12.95. Unlike other free tax software, FreeTaxUSA covers more complex situations like:

  • Joint filing
  • Itemized deductions
  • Rental properties
  • Dependents
  • Investments
  • Self-Employed

Also included from FreeTaxUSA is the ability to include charitable donations, Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions, and mortgage interest and property taxes.

FreeTaxUSA offers a Deluxe Edition add-on for $6.99, including live chat and audit assistance.

Get started with FreeTaxUSA.

2. Cash App Taxes (formerly Credit Karma Tax)

Credit Karma Tax was acquired and is now called Cash App Taxes.

  • Free Federal returns – even with deductions or credits
  • Free State returns – even with deductions or credits

Cash App may be more known for helping you transfer money, but they also offer free filing of both your Federal and State income tax. Unlike some other free tax software, Cash App Taxes is free even if you take deductions or use credits in your filing.

There are some limits to what forms they can accept. For example, they cannot file your State taxes without filing your Federal return.

Cash App Taxes offers:

  • Smart File: you will only be shown areas to fill in that apply to your current tax situation
  • Audit Defense: this feature checks your return for accuracy
  • Accurate Calculations Guarantee: if Credit Karma makes a mistake and the IRS charges you for it, they will reimburse you up to $1,000
  • Max Refund Guarantee: if you file an amendment and receive a larger return or owe less, they will pay you the difference amount up to $100
  • Live Chat: access to specialists 24/7 when you need assistance

Individuals can use the service to file for their small businesses or side hustle income. But right now, small businesses that file as Partnerships, S and C Corporations cannot use the service.

Cash App Taxes makes it “easy to switch” by importing last year’s return completed by other providers. To use Cash App Taxes, you will need to set up a Cash App account first.

3. Free File (IRS.gov)

  • Free federal returns for those earning under $69,000
  • May include free state returns depending on the company you use

Free File is a free federal income tax preparation and electronic filing program developed through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance LLC. The Free File Alliance is a group of tax software companies you can choose from when filing through Free File.

Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be $69,000 or less to use this service. According to the IRS, 70% of all taxpayers are eligible based on AGI.

I believe this is actually how I discovered TaxAct back in the day. At the time, they were involved with this program.

Now it looks like several other companies are involved:

  • 1040NOW
  • Drake Enterprise
  • ezTaxReturn.com
  • FileYourTaxes
  • Free Tax Returns
  • H&R Block
  • OnLine Taxes
  • TaxAct
  • TaxHawk
  • TaxSlayer

The IRS has a nice tool to help you sort through this list to find a company that’s right for you based on your criteria. The IRS site says that some of these companies may even offer state return filing for free as well.

Get started with Free File.

Ways to File Your Personal Tax for Free

Don’t need a free self-employed tax return filed? But still want a free personal tax return filed? Here are some options for you:

TurboTax® Free Edition (TurboTax.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • Free State returns – simple returns only

With TurboTax® Free Edition you can file a 1040EZ and other “simple” returns for free. You can also file State taxes for free.

I looked up the other “simple” returns and found that they cover the following:

  • Form 1040A – Individual Income Tax Return
  • Schedule EIC – Earned Income Credit
  • Child Tax Credits

TurboTax Free Edition doesn’t cover itemized deductions, business or 1099-MISC income, rental property income or credits, deductions and income reported on schedules 1-6, such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction.

The good thing about this version is that you can e-file for free and there is no income threshold.

Get started with TurboTax for free!

TaxAct Free Federal Edition (TaxAct.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • Free State returns – simple returns only

With TaxAct you can prepare and file simple federal returns with no dependents for free. This includes the ability to e-file a 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ for free. State filing is also currently free through TaxAct.

I began using TaxAct back in tax year 2001. That was the first year I did my taxes by myself (my Father is a CPA with a tax practice) and so I wanted to do them as cheaply as possible.

Back then you couldn’t e-file for free like you can today, so I would use the online software (from a library computer) and complete the 1040, print it out, and mail it in. I did this for six years, up until I got married. I even did my wife’s while we were dating using this service.

Get started with TaxAct.

H&R Block (HRBlock.com)

  • Free Federal returns – includes some more complicated situations
  • Free State returns – includes some more complicated situations

H&R Block’s free online tax filing is more extensive than other popular programs. This includes free Federal and State tax filing, but also includes:

  • Child and Dependent Care Expenses
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Tuition and Fees Statement
  • Health Coverage Exemptions (for uninsured)

H&R Block’s free online tax filing includes 45 tax forms available. You can also snap a picture of your W-2 on your mobile phone and upload it and it will auto-fill your information. This could save tons of time in tax preparation for you.

Get started with H&R Block.

TaxSlayer (TaxSlayer.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • Free State returns – simple returns only

Simply Free is the TaxSlayer’s free tax filing program. They offer free Federal and State tax filing for simple 1040 returns. TaxSlayer offers free phone and email support and also includes education deductions and credits and student loan interest deductions. TaxSlayer guarantees you the maximum refund possible through Simply Free.

Check out our full review of TaxSlayer here.

Get started with TaxSlayer.

Jackson Hewitt (JacksonHewitt.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • Free State returns – simple returns only

You may be familiar with Jackson Hewitt and their kiosks in Walmart during tax season. They also offer free tax filing software through their website. It is designed for single individuals and married filing jointly, with no dependents, and making less than $100,000 taxable income annually. Jackson Hewitt offers e-filing for both Federal and State tax returns.

Get started with Jackson Hewitt.

eSmart Tax (eSmartTax.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • State returns – $29.99

eSmart Tax is Liberty Tax Service’s online tax filing program. They offer free Federal tax filing. Unfortunately, State tax returns cost $29.99 through eSmart Tax. You can quickly fill out and file your 1040 through eSmart Tax. Other features include:

  • Affordable Care Act forms
  • Earned Income Credit
  • Free chat & email support
  • Credit Maximizer, which searches for tax credits and deductions
  • W-2 import

Free return amendments are included in eSmart’s free tax filing in case you receive tax documents after you file.

Get started with eSmart Tax.

eFile (eFile.com)

  • Free Federal returns – simple returns only
  • State returns – $28.95

eFile helps you prepare and file your Federal and State income taxes easily. You can use their free version if you have income below $100,000, have no dependents, and only W-2 income.

Other eFile features:

  • DATEucator – based on your deposit method, they will let you know when to expect your return
  • TaxStimator – is a tax return calculator the gives you an estimate of your taxes due or the refund you are owed
  • Dare to Compare – allows you to compare eFile.com’s features and prices with their competitors

eFile offers an extensive list of calculators you can use to determine if certain tax situations apply to you. The free version of eFile also includes a free amendment, a free re-eFile, and storage of your returns for seven years.

Get started with eFile.

Additional Tips for Filing Your Own Business Taxes

If you are doing your own taxes this year, here are some other helpful tips to make it easier and save time:

  • Have all your information gathered ahead of time as well as any documents you will use
  • Determine your filing status and make sure you qualify for using a free tax software program
  • Be sure to double check your work to make sure the information you entered is correct.
  • Be aware of all of the important tax deadlines by viewing the IRS tax calendars.
  • Take a few minutes to review last year’s tax return. Most likely it will have all of the personal information you need to fill out this year’s forms. It’s also good to see where you were at last year and if you need to make any adjustments or changes to your tax return this year.
  • File your tax return on time to avoid late filing penalties.

If you don’t qualify for any of these free options check out our recommendations of where to get your taxes done or see our list of the best small business tax software!

Reader Challenge

I encourage those with relatively simple tax situations to give it a shot before going to a professional or spending money on expensive software. I challenge you to heed this advice and file your taxes for free.

With all the resources out there, there’s no reason to pay someone else to do what is, in reality, a small amount of work. You’ll probably find that 10 minutes of your time is worth the savings!

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  1. Avatar brokeandbeau says:

    My father is a tax attorney, so I’ve been enjoying the perk of free tax prep for years 🙂

  2. Avatar Camari Ellis says:

    Great article! I am literally writing an article very similar for my blog. Might have to revisit.. I have been doing Accounting and tax work for over 15 yrs and I think the online solutions are awesome. Especially, for people with just a W’2 and maybe a couple of children..

  3. Avatar One Cent at a Time says:

    I do with Taxact and unless you opt for additional features, its free every year.

  4. Avatar Mike and Molly's House says:

    We’ve got to get on our taxes!!! AHHHGG!

  5. Avatar JeffreyCrews says:

    I have a CPA do mine. The time it takes is well worth the money I pay him. However, I always love hearing of ways I truly could save money on certain tasks. I guess I am just too lazy. 🙂

  6. Avatar Joanna Hertel says:

    thanks for sharing

  7. Avatar Joe Durika says:

    Already did…using TaxAct.com. Should have my refund by the 14th (happy Valentine’s Day to me!)

  8. @Hank – You mean you paid a CPA? I agree, there comes a point where “free” doesn’t cut it. And $150 isn’t bad. That’s a good deal for a CPA.

    I’m a CPA (non-practicing) so I have no excuse. I do them myself.

  9. I was a big fan of TurboTax till I got in too deep with investing, kids, houses, etc, and I figured the $150 I paid him was well worth it for my piece of mind that it was getting done right…

  10. Avatar FIRE Finance says:

    Thanks for the mention 🙂

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