I tried 11 websites that let you file your taxes online for free - and there's something for everybody

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Don't pay to file your tax return if you can free file instead.

  • Eligible taxpayers can file their tax return online for free using many different services.
  • Tax season officially began January 29, with a final deadline of April 17 this year.
  • The IRS recommends e-filing your taxes and requesting your refund via direct deposit.
  • Business Insider decided to try the free file version of several online tax services.


Tax day is just around the corner.

Americans have until April 17 to file their 2017 taxes. You won't have to worry about changes brought about by the new GOP tax bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law. It won't affect your tax return this year, and the new tax brackets will only affect income earned starting January 1, 2018. 

Still, you should start tackling your taxes as soon as possible. According to Business Insider's Lauren Lyons Cole, filing early is the best way to protect against tax scams - especially potential identity theft.

Many online tax services offer the option to file for your federal taxes - and sometimes state taxes - for free, as long as you meet certain age and salary requirements. You can check your options using the IRS free file lookup tool - and you can find all of the free online sites here.

The IRS also says the fastest way to get your tax refund is the method already used by most taxpayers: filing electronically and selecting direct deposit as the method for receiving your refund. Your refund should hit your bank account within three weeks of filing online. Often, you'll get your money even faster.

I previously compared two online filing giants, TurboTax and H&R Block, head to head. Then I checked out a number of sites that provide free - or mostly free - tax-filing services.

Here's what I thought of all of the sites, which are listed in no particular order: