NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Chances are, you already know you can file your tax returns digitally with the Internal Revenue Service -- nearly 1 million taxpayers opted to e-file last year, according to the agency.

What you may not know, though, is that there are actually several online tax tools and software that let you file your tax returns for free. Of course, each has its own eligibility criteria and none offers a free-file option to taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of more than $58,000. Other eligibility criteria may include age, state, eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and military status.

Here's a rundown to help you make an informed choice.

ezTaxReturn.com

Description:

Users can file their federal tax return for free without having to download software onto their computer. This authorized

e-file preparer

also has a free U.S.-based customer service hotline available if you have some trouble along the way.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be $58,000 or less. You also have to live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virgina or Wisconsin.

Other options:

You can opt to prepare your federal and state tax returns together with no income restrictions, but it will cost you $19.95.

Free TaxACT

Description:

This

Web tool allows you to prepare your federal tax return

(as well as any extensions) by creating an online account and preparing your taxes through a browser. The site also offers free tax help, though you must correspond with specialists via email.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be $58,000 or less and you must be between 19 and 55 years old. The offer, however, is valid in all states.

Other costs:

Those who don't meet the requirements can file federal returns for $7.95. If you're looking to file your state tax return also, the cost is $14.95.

Turbo Tax Freedom Edition

Description:

The

free version of this popular e-file program

by

Intuit

(INTU) - Get Report

lets qualified users file their federal tax returns without downloading any supporting software. You simply create an account that can be updated over time, so if you don't finish your taxes in one sitting you can pick up where you left off.

To qualify:

Your adjustable gross income can be only $32,000 or less, but you can also use the tool for free if you are in the military or qualify for the

earned income tax credit

, which can return up to $5,657 to low-income working families. Those who meet any of these requirement and happen to live in the allowed 11 states - Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia - can also file state tax returns for free.

Other costs:

If your state isn't on the list, you can still prepare and file your state tax return through this TurboTax edition for $14.95.

EFileTaxReturns.com

Description:

Similarly to TurboTax, this site allows you to create an account and prepare your federal tax return in multiple sessions. It also will also save your return so you can access it when preparing your taxes the next year.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be between $4,000 and $58,000 and you can't live in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota or Washington.

Other costs:

If you don't meet these qualifications, its costs $29.95 to file a federal return and $22.95 to file a state return, though some

state restrictions

still apply.

eSmartTax

Description:

This free tax tool lets you prepare you federal tax return and also features an online customer support center.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be $32,000 or less, but the federal offer is valid in all states.

Other costs:

If you live in certain states, you can

prepare and file your state tax return

for $19.95. (Virginia residents who meet the aforementioned requirements can actually file a state return for free as well.)

OnlineTaxPros.com

Description:

This tool, which lets you prepare your federal return for free after you create an online account, will send you a notification regarding the status of your return within 48 hours.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be between $4,000 and $58,000 and you must live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin or West Virginia.

Other costs:

You can also file your state tax return using this service for $14.95.

TaxSlayer

Description:

The TaxSlayer tool prepares your free federal tax return via a user account created online. Residents of

certain states

are also eligible for a free state return. The site also prepares filing extensions for free.

To qualify:

Your household income needs to be under $58,000 and you need to be either younger than 25 or older than 65. Anyone who makes $10,000 or less is eligible regardless of age. You file your federal tax return for free if you qualify for the Earned Income Credit or are on active military duty.

Other costs:

Those who don't qualify can file a

federal tax return

for $9.95. State returns cost $4.95.

TaxSimple

Description:

You will need to

download TaxSimple's e-file software

onto your computer to use this e-tool, but you can track your return status through your account.

To qualify:

You must make less than $58,000 and be 66 or younger. You also need to live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia or Wyoming.

Other costs:

Those who don't qualify are charged $24.95 for their federal return and state tax return each.

H&R Block Free File

Description:

With

H&R Block

(HRB) - Get Report

, the federal tax return is prepared on your Web browser; no software downloads are required. There is also an online customer service center open for troubleshooting.

To qualify:

You need to have earned $58,000 or less in adjusted gross income and be under 51 years old as of Dec. 31, 2010, to use the service. The offer, however, is valid in all states. Residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia can also get a free state tax return.

Other costs:

Residents of all other states have to pay $9.95 for state filing. It costs $19.95 for a basic federal return preparation.

Free1040TaxReturns.com

Description:

By creating an online account, you can revise, read or print your free federal tax return whenever you want. Your tax returns are stored safely and securely for three years, too. You can also file federal filing extensions for free.

To qualify:

You have to have earned less than $58,000 in adjusted gross income and be 72 or younger. You also have to live in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin or West Virginia.

Other costs:

Those who don't qualify for free filing are

charged $39.95

to e-file their federal tax return and $39.95 to e-file their state return.

FileYourTaxes.com

Description:

You need to

create an account to e-file

your free federal tax return, with extensions included when necessary. There is a customer service hotline, but the number (805-644-9398) isn't toll-free.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income must be between $10,000 and $58,000 and you need to live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia or Wyoming.

Other costs:

State returns can be e-filed for an additional $23.50 for Free File Returns. Those who don't qualify must pay $26.75 (plus fees for

certain additional services

) to file their federal tax return.

1040Now.net

Description:

You can prepare your free federal e-file using

1040Now.net

over your browser. Once you set up an account, your information will carry over from year to year.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income needs to be $58,000 or less and you need to be 66 or younger. You also need to live in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin or West Virginia. All active military personnel are also eligible for the free service.

Other costs:

If you don't qualify for free, the price is $14.95 for 1040-EZ and $19.95 for 1040-A or 1040.

FreeTaxUSA

Description:

You can prepare your federal tax return, extensions included, by creating an online account at FreeTaxUSA.

To qualify:

You need make $58,000 or less in adjusted gross income and you need to have been between 22 and 64 as of Dec. 31. Residents of all states are eligible.

Other costs:

Those who don't qualify can get a federal and state tax return filed electronically for $9.95 each.

123EasyTaxFiling

Description:

There's no software to download, you just need to enter your personal information to start an account. Extensions are included in the preparation of the free federal return.

To qualify:

You need to be 70 or younger, your adjusted gross income needs to be $58,000 or less and you need to live in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia or Wyoming.

Other costs:

You can file your state tax return with your federal tax return for $14.95.

Online Taxes at OLT.com

Description:

In addition to letting you prepare, update and check the status of your return via your online account, this site also boasts a toll-free number for customer service at 1-888-OLT-4-TAX.

To qualify:

Your adjustable income needs to be $58,000 or below and you need to be 51 or younger. The offer is valid in all states.

Other costs:

If you don't qualify, the federal return costs $9.95. Adding a state return to your federal e-File costs an additional $7.95.

ICANFREEFILE

Description:

This is a Web-based application, so there is no software to download. State returns can be filed only if you live in California, Michigan, Montana, New York or Pennsylvania.

To qualify:

Your adjusted gross income needs to be $31,000 or less or you need to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Residents of all states are eligible for free filing.

Other costs:

If you don't qualify, you can e-file your federal tax return for $9.99.

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