Top apps and services for filing taxes

Reduce your tax-filing headaches with these helpful programs and Web apps.

One of the smartest men ever claimed that "the hardest thing to understand in the world is income taxes." Einstein may have lost some hair filling out his tax forms, but you don't have to. Here are free tools to reduce the stress and get the most back from your income-tax filings.

Tax-preparation software

Need help preparing your taxes? Try one of these free apps:

TaxAct Free Federal Edition supports most basic tax returns, including the 1040EZ, but also just about any IRS e-filing form. Like TurboTax and H&R Block, TaxACT promises maximum return and 100 percent accuracy. Though federal taxes are free, state taxes require a small fee.

TurboTax is a popular e-filing program. If you've used TurboTax before, all your information from last year's returns will automatically transfer over. TurboTax's user flow is known for its intuitive form sequences and easy-to-follow instructions.

H&R Block
H&R Block's app provides free tax-expert advice and helps you file your federal income taxes, as well as state taxes for a small fee. H&R Block includes a built-in calculator, status updates, and other resources to help every step of the way.

DIY tax filing

Prefer to soldier through the forms on your own? Download them here:

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