Using A Free Tax Service To Prepare Your State Return? If You Don't Pay, They May Delete Your Work

Last week we wrote about the IRS’ free tax filing program and pointed you to a blog that reviewed all 19 services. Only two offer free state filing, but the blog, Flife, pointed out that you could always use your chosen service to prepare your state return—using it as a sort of worksheet—and then switch to one of the totally free services to do the actual filing. But be careful: a reader just wrote in to say free-tax-return.com completely deleted his state filing when he declined to pay the $13.50 fee.

I went to the IRS.gov website to file my free tax form since I made under $54,000 this year.

The IRS.gov website referred me http://free-tax-return.com, I spent a good 6 hours filling out the information and when my return was calculated I was happy to see I would receiving a refund for my federal taxes.

When I choose to submit my forms, It said that I would have to pay an extra $13.50 to electronically submit my state taxes.

Being a poor college graduate slowly paying off a $70,000 loan, I decided I would copy the information generated from the free-tax-return.com state forms and mail it myself.

To my surprise once I told them I wouldn’t be paying $13.50, my state forms were erased from my account. Now I need to re calculate everything again for the state tax forms.

In other words, if you’re going to try this approach to save some money, don’t expect the tax return service to save your work for you indefinitely. We suggest you hold off on the final submission step until you’ve got the work copied over to whatever 100% free service you choose—or keep both services open simultaneously, or print/screencap the necessary figures.

(Thanks to Benjamin!)