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7 Ways to File Your Taxes for Free

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There are more ways than ever to prepare and e-file your tax return at no charge. Most of the major tax-software providers offer free versions of their products for taxpayers who file a Form 1040EZ, and some extend their free offers to taxpayers who file a Form 1040A.

Even if your tax return is more complex—you have a lot of investments, for example, or income from a side gig—you may qualify for a free program. But before you start plugging your numbers into any program, read the fine print and disclaimers. Some providers offer a free federal tax return but charge a hefty price for a state tax return. Others make money by using the information you provide on your tax return to promote products and services.

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Keep information security in mind throughout your tax prep and filing. Use a strong password for your software log-in (not "password" or your dog's name). Be wary of e-mails purporting to be from your software provider; so-called phishing e-mails are used by scammers to obtain your personal information. Don't click on links included in e-mails. If you need to communicate with the software provider, do it through the provider's website.

Start filing—free!

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