As most of us know by now, the Federal and Maryland State Tax return deadline was moved to July 15, 2020. You can either mail in your tax returns or you can E-file. E-filing has some advantages over paper filing, especially if you are younger and below a certain income.
Filing your taxes can be pretty confusing when you are doing it the first couple of times. Luckily, the IRS has a Free Filing option that lets you file your taxes electronically for free if you meet certain criteria. Depending on what state you live in, some of the programs also allow you to e-file your state taxes for free. The criteria varies - some programs have a certain salary limit and others based it off age or eligibility for certain credits. The highest salary allowance for 2019 was $69,000 to file for free.
Simply go to: https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/
You can use their Lookup tool (blue box at the top of the page) to quickly determine which programs you can use for free.
If you don’t qualify for a free filing program, you can still file for free by simply using the free fillable forms online.
There are a couple of benefits to E-filing, especially right now because the IRS is taking longer to review returns due to the impact of COVID-19.
- You could possibly get your return faster because electronic returns are easier to process than paper returns.
You have the ability to track your return because the IRS will let you know when the return is received.
- Once you receive this notification, you can also see when your return is approved and when it will be issued
If you have already filed for 2019 and did it by paper, great job! Your return may take a little longer due to the circumstances of COVID-19. If you have not already filed, consider E-filing to save time!