The Best FREE Tax Filing for Students in 2020

The time for tax filing has arrived. Filing taxes can be very confusing and even frustrating. This is especially true for those who are new to filing taxes such as high school and college students. However, one solution that I have found to be extremely helpful is Credit Karma Tax. I have used Credit Karma Tax for the past two tax filing seasons – 2019 and 2020 and have found the platform to be extremely easy to use. Credit Karma Tax offers completely FREE tax filing for both federal and state taxes. 

When is the deadline to file taxes in 2020?

Coronavirus Update: Tax Day 2020 is now Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

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Why exactly is Credit Karma Tax useful for students?

There are a number of excellent features such as free audit defense, max refund guarantee and electronic status updates. I personally like that it is easy to transfer information from your paper forms into the system, and there are step-by-step wizards that help you determine if you qualify for certain deductions or credits. If you qualify for multiple, the service will help you determine which is more beneficial based on your personal situation. For example, since I am a student, the wizard was able to calculate if it would be better for me to take the tuition and fees deduction or the education credit. I also found out that I qualified for a property tax credit.

Is it really free?

Yes, Credit Karma Tax is completely free for filing both federal and state taxes. Unlike TurboTax, there are never any fees based on whether you take certain deductions, credits or have multiple sources of income. You can even estimate your refund before choosing to use Credit Karma to file your taxes.

Do I have to file online with Credit Karma Tax?

You do not have to electronically file your taxes after you complete them. Instead, you can opt to print the completed forms and mail them directly to the IRS and your state’s treasury department if this is more desirable for you.

How long does it take to receive a refund?

I chose to electronically file both my state and federal taxes and selected direct deposit for my refund. The IRS took less than 1 day to approve my return and deposited my refund in exactly 10 days. My state only took 1 day to approve my return but took a little bit longer to deposit my refund. You can find the IRS refund schedule here. However, state tax refund schedules vary by individual state.

Be sure to post any questions or comments and to share your experience below. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post on the advantages of using Credit Karma for credit monitoring here.

Be sure to check out 5 Tax Tips for College Students.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor or tax preparer and am not intending to offer any official tax advice above. The purpose of this post is to share my own experience, which may or may not be beneficial to others and their unique situations. Please consult a qualified professional if you are looking for financial advice.