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I'm a student trying to file my 2018 federal and state taxes, However the file for free option seems to be unavailable. I do not qualify for any of the other tax options, how am I suppose to file?

3 Replies
Level 15


E-filing for the 2018 tax filing season was closed by the IRS on Oct 16, 2019 permanently and forever. It is no longer possible to prepare or file a 2018 tax return of any type, with any online version of any program.

You will have to purchase the CD version of the TurboTax software and physically install it on your computer. Then used that installed program to prepare your 2018 tax return. Since e-filing is closed by the IRS permanently and forever, you then have to print, sign and mail the return to the IRS.


Level 15


The TurboTax (TT) free filing option ends Oct.  15 of the filing year (10-15-19 for tax year 2018).  It's too late to file free, or even electronically.

If you want to use TurboTax, you will need to purchase the Desktop Version for each year that you need to file. You can do that at this link:

You can download the Forms and Instructions free from the IRS web site at this link:


A student's return should be simple enough to do by hand.  If you are required to file a federal return, you may also have to file a state return, if you live in a state with an income tax (41 out of 50).





Level 15


You are too late to file for free.  You missed the deadline.



Online tax preparation and e-filing for 2018 returns is now permanently closed.  You had until midnight on Tuesday, October 15 to finish and attempt to e-file; if your e-file was rejected you had until October 20 to make corrections and re-file. Now it is too late to efile any return … they must be mailed in.



To finish a prior year return started in TT online:



If you already paid for your online software you can ask customer support for a download of the desktop software.



If you didn't already pay for your 2018 product prior to the shutdown, you can either purchase directly from the TurboTax website as mentioned above, or you may find the product at a discount as a download at Amazon, etc.    CAUTION:  There are a lot of scam sites, so do not try to purchase from any "too-good-to-be-true" discount site on the Internet that you find in a search.   You might end up with pirated software, ID theft, malware, etc.   Only a few large well-known sites like Amazon, NewEgg, Staples, Office Depot, etc., are authorized to sell TurboTax downloads.



When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.  Use a mailing service that will track it, such as UPS or certified mail so you will know the IRS and/or your state received the return.



If you are getting a refund, there is no penalty for filing late.  If you owe tax due, then file and pay the amount due as shown on the Form 1040, but expect a bill later from the IRS for the penalty and interest you will owe.  Only the IRS will calculate this—TurboTax will not calculate it.





If you want to just get the forms and prepare them by hand, that would be free--except for postage to mail them.

Here is the new IRS 2018 Form 1040
And instructions https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf
2018 Tax and EIC Tables https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf

IRS 2018 Schedules 1 thru 6

Don’t forget your state. And you will have to print and mail your returns.  So be sure to attach copies of your W2s and any 1099s that have withholding on them.  You have to mail federal and state in separate envelopes because they go to different places.  Get a tracking number from the post office when you mail them for proof of filing.




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