Internet Provides Plethora of Free Tax HelpAired February 17, 2000 - 1:38 p.m. ET
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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: H&R Block is trying to reassure taxpayers who used its Internet site to file online. Block continues to make repairs to its online system after a glitch allowed nine customers to view parts of other customers' files. But Block says the glitch had no effect on the information filed with the IRS, and the company stands by its guarantee that the returns were filed accurately.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you are going kind of nuts trying to do your taxes, quit pulling your hair out and start pointing and clicking.
CNN Internet correspondent Allison Tom joins us to talk about free tax help available on the Web -- Allison.
ALLISON TOM, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie and Lou. That's right. Well, millions of Americans this year will be filing their tax returns on the Internet. There's a number of resources available online, and there are some Web sites that are actually allowing you to file your tax returns for free.
The first site that we're going to show you is the IRS, which is up here right now. This is the Internal Revenue Service where you can find a number of different things that might be of help for you. One is a majority of the tax forms will be listed right here, so you can just scroll down, depending on what you might need, and you can select any of the different kinds of forms that you might be looking for. They also offer a number of tax tips for you, and they'll also give you the latest changes here that might be available if you need it.
Now, if your adjusted gross income is under $20,000 or you're planning on filing the 1040-EZ form, you might want to go to Intuit's TurboTax. This site here will allow you to file for free, and all you have to do is click on their particular Web site, and they'll allow you to file this form for free. The will require you to put in your user name and a password, but it's pretty step-by-step, and they'll walk you through asking you a few different questions, depending on what your situation might be.
Now, if you are on this site and you have an AGI that's above $20,000, you can still use this Web site, but you will be required to pay $9.95 for your federal and then $9.95 for your state forms. So, again, that's $20, again, for both of your tax returns. Now, there's a number of financial institutions that are also on the Web who are offering free online filing. Some of them might require that you're a customer of that particular financial institution. Some of them, others that are not, will require you not to have to be a member or a customer, and one of that includes HD Vest. Here, you can file online for free. And, again, it's step-by- step, just like the other ones that we showed you. Again, you need to put in your user name as well as a password. It will walk you through.
And keep in mind that a lot of the information that you're putting here is very confidential and sensitive information, so be sure that you know the company as well as the Web site that you're using. And, also, it's a good idea to double check the security of these sites, especially with the recent hack events in the past couple week. You want to check that and find out whether or not they have an approved stamp of approval, and that can be something with the Better Business Bureau or with Trustee.
And last but not least, since April 15 falls on a Saturday this year, your tax returns, as well as your payments, will be due on April 17.
Lou, back to you.
WATERS: OK, Allison.
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