If you use tax software to prepare your federal return, you can use the software to file your state return as well, and all the relevant data from the federal return automatically transfers over to the state return. However, adding a state return is rarely free, sometimes costing up to nearly $40 even if you've used free tax software to file your federal return.
To save money, you can often file directly through a state website separately from the federal return. The best alternatives are available through the IRS Free File program or through state tax revenue collection agencies, listed below.
U.S. Military members, check Free Tax Software for Military Members for federal and state return packages available to you at no cost.
1. Go Straight to the State
- States Starting with A through G: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida and Georgia.
- States Starting with H through M: Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine and Maryland.
- States Starting with M through N: Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and New Jersey.
- States Starting with N through S: New Mexico, New York, where Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
- States Starting with S through W: South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
2. IRS Free File
Here are some examples of Free File offerings, with the cost if a state isn't free:
Household income under $57,000 and under 26 years old
Qualify for Earned Income Credit
Currently Active Duty Military
$7.95 for Non-free state
TurboTax Freedom Edition
Adjusted Gross Income: $31,000 or less
Active military with an Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000
Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Non-free State 14.95
H&R Block Free File
Adjusted Gross Income: $57,000 or less
Age: 52 or younger
Non-free state 14.95
3. Paper Tax Return
The links to the states listed above include state returns that you can print out and mail.