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5 costly service fees and how to buck them

Fees for filing taxes online
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Fees for filing taxes online

If you're lucky enough to get a tax refund after doing your taxes online with TurboTax, you may be surprised to see a big fee added to get your refund that's transferred directly to your checking account.

For a federal tax refund, TurboTax assesses a "refund processing" fee of $29.95 for those who elect to receive their refunds electronically. In addition, TurboTax charges a $49.95 online filing fee that is deducted from the tax refund. These fees are above and beyond the normal fee TurboTax charges for the use of its service.

You can avoid the $29.95 fee by receiving your refund via snail mail, and you can avoid the online filing fee by printing out the tax return and mailing it to the IRS.

Tax blogger Kelly Phillips Erb says the easiest way to avoid fees is to use the IRS "free file" program in which software companies make their products available through the IRS website.


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