The IRS also maintains Free File for more complicated returns (but still not multistate), which is administered through the Free File Alliance, a nonprofit organization comprised of a dozen tax prep service providers, including TurboTax, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt.
Free File projects that, in 2017, it will prepare about 3 million individual income tax returns out of the 153 million the IRS expects to receive. "One hundred million people are eligible but it's not advertised, so nobody knows about it," said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance.
The program, which walks you through your tax filings step by step, is geared toward low- and moderate-income taxpayers, but each provider has its own restrictions on who qualifies. For example, some will accept all filers who make $64,000 or less while others may have age requirements or geographical restrictions (a wizard will walk you through the available programs that fit your criteria).
And you still may not be able to wrap up all your paperwork before April 18 (yes, the deadline is different in 2017) completely scot-free. There could be some additional charges, including a fee for those who owe taxes and use a credit card to make a payment or for filing a state return online.
For those determined not to spend a dime, and still want in-person assistance from a tax pro, the AARP Foundation runs a volunteer-based Tax-Aide program for those who can't afford tax prep help.
The IRS also has both a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, for people with disabilities, limited English or those who generally make $54,000 or less, and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or TCE, for those who are age 60 or older.
VITA and TCE sites are generally located in community centers, libraries and schools around the country. And many of the TCE sites are operated by AARP's Tax-Aide program.
For more information, go to irs.gov.