When H and R Block and Maximum Legal Refund advertise FREE income tax preparation, they are talking about only the very simplest income tax filings: the Form 1040-EZ. Not many people qualify. The big question is: If you CAN qualify, SHOULD you file a 1040-EZ?
You could save tax preparation fees but lose bigger money if you file a Form 1040-EZ. Obviously, that would be false economy. Many tax benefits are simply not present on the 1040-EZ. A good example is student loan interest. A student just out of college probably qualifies for a free 1040-EZ filing, but he'll miss out on his deduction for student loan interest. That's not really saving money. An IRA contribution is another example: You can't deduct an IRA contribution on a 1040-EZ. Most tax credits are not available on the 1040-EZ. You can't take a child credit, additional child credit, education credits, dependent care credits, or retirement savings credits on a Form 1040-EZ either.
Who qualifies to file Form 1040-EZ? You must meet all of these requirements:
- Your filing status is single or married filing jointly
- You and your spouse are younger than 65
- Neither you nor your spouse is legally blind
- You have no dependents
- Your interest income is less than $1,500
- Your total income is less than $100,000
Questions? Feel free to contact:
JC Leahy, MA Accounting
Maximum Legal Refund TM
TAXES MINIMIZED TO YOUR BEST ADVANTAGE TM
JC Leahy and Company, LLC
LONG-DISTANCE FILING AND Silver Spring, MD