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FREE State e-file options for 2012 Tax Return (CA shown as example - All eligble States linked within)

jackc6900 444 January 4, 2013 at 08:28 AM in Finance (5)
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This post will require some collaboration but a few of the other threads got me thinking that there are several states that allow free e-file, that some of you likely don't know about. Most tax return software will often leave free state e-file off the table and will either make you pay $20 to e-file or make you snail mail it in, costing you postage, delivery confirmation, a trip to the post office and a slow refund, if applicable. Since I live in CA I will do a quick run through of what I have done in the past. The process will be the same but if you know your state has a similar free e-file option - add a link to the wiki!

1. Do your fed + state return in your tax software (H&R Block, Turbo Tax, etc)
2. Print or create a PDF version of your state tax return as if you're going to mail it.
3. Go to your state's free e-filing website, for CA it is... https://www.ftb.ca.gov/individual...ware.shtml
4. There is certain criteria to e-file through the website but unless you make over $300k and have some crazy tax credits you likely qualify.
5. Literally copy over the information from the H&R Block Tax forms into the state tax forms - they make it pretty easy to do.
6. Submit and get confirmation number - process takes maybe 10 mins it's so quick and without the added cost of paying your tax software to submit it. hug

Edit: All states will have their own criteria on who does and does not qualify, feel free to add a quick snipet in the wiki but to avoid mucking up the wiki to much it might justbe easier to take a peek at your states filing website and see if you meet the criteria. Most states set these sites up though with the general populous in mind - they tend to want to disqualify the top earners which I imagine varies by state.

Edit2: Full listing here - we'll keep adding to wiki to save on some clicks!! Thanks for everyones help, i've been repping like crazy!

Quote from deldem View Post :
States Participating in the Federal/State e-File Program
http://www.irs.gov/uac/States-Par...le-Program

States Processing State Only Returns
http://www.irs.gov/uac/States-Pro...ly-Returns

86 Comments

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#31
Quote from jackc6900 View Post :
Be careful with HSA though because I had an HSA last year and still qualified because the plan was sponsered by my employer so the money came out of my check before taxes were calculated so there was no "HSA deductions" even though I had an HSA account. So if you have an account don't get discouraged.
If it is employers contribute plan, it may be call "health reimbursement arrangement", or HRA, which employees can use to pay for healthcare expenses that are not reimbursed by the plan. So HSA and HRA are different.
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#32
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#33
Quote from MozartA View Post :
For your combine income of $340k, you may not qualify for (or may not care because only save so little) Health spending account (HSA) or your health care plan may be very good and cover everything. But a lot of people do use HSA. And likes someone said, for CA, if you have have HSA, you can't efile for free at CA for some reason.
Not sure if I follow you 100%. So I don't make a combined $340k that was the threshold in the criteria to efile for married filing jointly. I make well under that actually - last year I had an HSA account couple with a high deductable health plan. My employer paid into it and I put like $100 into it a month. That money was pulled from my gross earnings so I was never taxed on it. I was able to efile last year using this method without an issue because I wouldn't need the HSA deductions as the money was an exclusion from gross income, i.e my W-2 gross earnings excluded these amounts much like you would with a 401k plan. You can't deduct something you never paid taxes on... so the exclusion criteria states "You have Health Savings Account (HSA) deductions or distributions." So I had no deductions nor distributions... distributions meaning you withdrew money (and paid heavy taxes and penalties) from the account not paying for your medical medical bills.as it is geared for.
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#34
added ohio
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#35
Quote from MozartA View Post :
If it is employers contribute plan, it may be call "health reimbursement arrangement", or HRA, which employees can use to pay for healthcare expenses that are not reimbursed by the plan. So HSA and HRA are different.
Mine is called an HSA account without a doubt - I have a jpmorgan debit card that says Health Savings Account right on the front of it which I take with me to the doctor and dentist visits to pay for everything. All my firms health material refers to it as a health savings account and does the provider.
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#36
Added Wisconsin's info link to the Wiki.
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#37
Oregon is here, but not live yet for 2012 taxes:

http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX/...lable.aspx
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#38
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#39
Wow. $339,464 is big number. How easy it is to enter all the info on ftb ca form?
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#40
Quote from fatbastard View Post :
Haven't tried this before but NJ has a site: http://www.njwebfile.com/ but it indicates the 2012 filing site won't be open until 1/15 or so.
I have been using njwebfile since 2007. Very easy and straightforward. Just make sure you submit your Fed tax first to avoid delay.
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#41
Quote from jackc6900 View Post :
Nice thanks - I imagine most of the general populous will fall into the qualify category. I consider myself normal... married, with a house and a kid, same job all year as did the wife and we make under $340k. No capital gains/losses or bonds or anything like that.
I would hope many people own a mutual fund of some sort and therefore most likely have capital gains.
But I could be wrong.
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#42
For those of us in cajun country

Louisiana online file
http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/...nline.aspx
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#43
Quote from eric_cartman View Post :
I would hope many people own a mutual fund of some sort and therefore most likely have capital gains.
But I could be wrong.
I don't think so - I would say a 401k would be more mainstream to the layman over a mutual fund setup.
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#44
*Waiting for MS to show in the wiki....!!!!*
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#45
Pennsylvania is here:

https://padirectfile.state.pa.us/

It's not available until January 10 though.
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