Still haven’t done your taxes? File for free and quickly with these tips – Saving You Money

Still haven’t done your taxes? File for free and quickly with these tips – Saving You Money

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Time is running out. If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, you only have a few days before Tuesday’s deadline.

The deadline to file your tax return is Tuesday – April 18 this year, not the usual April 15 because the weekend and a holiday in Washington on Monday.

The same deadline applies to federal, state and local taxes. You can apply for an extension, but if your tax situation isn’t extraordinarily complicated, you should be able to knock them out this weekend.

To help expedite your tax filing, I’ve condensed three Saving You Money columns on taxes into one. (Although, reading each one may help.) Here’s how to file your taxes quickly and cheaply.

Get your documents together before you start. Otherwise, you can’t get everything done in one sitting.

Start with the basics. You’ll need your W-2 form, which most employees get from their employers, to report your income for 2022. If you freelance or work as an independent contractor, you’ll also have a 1099-NEC form.

It’s also good to have your driver’s license, Social Security Number and last year’s tax return. For a more in-depth list, read Unprepared for tax season? Here’s (almost) everything you’ll need to file.

2. File for free

Pick an easy and possibly free tax preparation software.

The IRS has a “free file” program with a list of 11 tax programs at TurboTax and H&R Block aren’t on this list.

Some websites let you file your federal and state tax returns for free. Others may file your federal for free but not your state return. Restrictions may apply, and you’ll need a “simple” tax return to use most of these programs for free.

I chose TaxSlayer and filed completely for free, but FreeTaxUSA also works well and is cheap even for “not simple” returns. You can find out more by reading How to file your federal, state and local tax returns for free (or at least cheaply).

You can file your state return for free at You can file your city tax return for free at or

3. A local tax refund?

If you work from home, see if you can save some cash by requesting a refund on local income taxes paid elsewhere.

This is a bit more complex and you’ll want to read the column: Are you being overtaxed? You may qualify for a city income tax refund. But it boils down to how your employer handles withholding.

For example, my office is in Brooklyn but I live and work at my home in Berea part time. But my employer withholds 100% of my income for Brooklyn.

Brooklyn taxes income at 2.5%, Berea taxes at 2%. I can get a partial refund from Brooklyn for taxes paid when I was actually working at home in Berea. (It’s a little more complicated because of Berea only gives partial credit for taxes paid, but you get the gist.)

It varies, a lot. We ran the math for one person making $50,000 a year. Getting a refund could save this person anywhere from $89 to $600, depending on where they live and how often they work from home.

If you live and work in the same city, this doesn’t apply to you. Otherwise, this is worth a look and can save you money each year.

Saving You Money is and The Plain Dealer’s column about saving money. We want to know how we can help you save money. Send your questions and comments to [email protected].

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