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How can I file my tax returns electronically and for free?

By Karin Price Mueller | for

Q. I use TurboTax to prepare my taxes and file the federal return. They charge $25 to file the New Jersey return electronically so for years I’ve printed it out and mailed it, more on principle, not because I can’t afford it. Is there some other way to take the New Jersey file and submit it myself electronically?

— Taxpayer

A. We applaud you doing something like this on principle.

While you can continue to mail the return, there are some advantages to doing it online.

When you mail in a paper tax return the government has to keypunch most of your information into a government computer, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

“If you are a government clerk keypunching hundreds of tax returns every day, you are going to make mistakes. It’s only human nature,” Kiely said. “Prior to e-filing, my clients would frequently get notices from the IRS that were incorrect because of an input error. Since e-filing, these notices have practically disappeared.”

You can file electronically directly with the state of New Jersey. And it’s free.

Give it a try.

Email your questions to

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for’s weekly e-newsletter.


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