When Can I Start My Efile?
Some efile tax software including TurboTax and H&R Block, allow you to begin your online tax efile by January 1. However, this year the IRS is expecting processing delays due to the late passage of the fiscal cliff deal. The IRS has announced that it will only start accepting 2012 tax returns after January 30, 2013. Some taxpayers may have to wait until as late as February or March to file taxes. Please see our 2012-2013 tax calendar for dates regarding your specific tax situation.
Both TurboTax and H&R Block already have their 2012-2013 software released online, so you can get started now and your tax forms will be submitted as soon as the IRS is ready.
Before starting your efile, you need to be sure you have all your tax forms from your employer — that is all W2 forms or 1099 forms from all employers you’ve had in the past year. Employers are required to send you your tax forms by the end of January. If you do not receive your tax forms from your employer by the beginning of February you should contact your employer.
For more information on 2012-2013 tax deadlines and important dates please also have a look at our 2012-2013 Tax Calendar.
Best Free eFile Tax Programs
Now that you’re ready to begin your taxes, the next step is to choose an eFile program. Many are free for Federal returns, and charge a fee for state filing. We recommend the following tax software:
- TurboTax - Free Federal eFile (read our review)
- H&R Block At Home - Free Federal efile, State Additional (read our review)
Both TurboTax and H&R Block at Home offer great solutions no matter the complexity of your tax returns. For basic filers with limited deductions, the free versions of these programs will be acceptable. But if you run a small business, have a lot of investments, or a lot of deductions, you will want to upgrade to a more comprehensive package.