This time last year, I discussed IRS's Free File Alliance, a consortium of 15 companies that offers free online tax filing. If you read my notes last year, you will notice that no single company offers the free service to everybody. This year, the landscape has changed.
If you are considering buying your tax preparation software, take a look at the list of companies that offer free tax filing this year first. Especially, the following three providers give away the service to everyone without restrictions:
TurboTax® for the WebSM
Last year I used TaxAct.com to file online and it works great for me. This year, due to a special situation, I need to file on paper, but I will still use TaxAct -- it is a standalone Windows program that allows paper print-out, and I love the flexibility it offers.
Why do these companies want to offer this (valuable) service for free? Because this will give them the chance to crosssell you other products, like state tax filing and other value-added tax consulting.
These free offers are not available if you visit the main website of these companies directly. Be sure to tell your friends if you want to save them a buck or two.