By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many online services are offering free tax return preparation online. Is this a good option for you? How do these companies make money? And what about those tax anticipation loans?

H&R Block is one of those companies that offer you the opportunity to file your taxes online for free.  Senior Product Manager for Digital Tax Sandee Astrachan, explains how they can make money, “The federal return is free. The state return we do charge for that. And for things like speaking to a tax pro, we do charge for that.”

Astrachan says not everyone is eligible for the free return. You will be charged for more complicated forms.

CPA with Granite Financial Solutions in Colmar, Harry McWilliams, says like anything else it’s buyer beware.

“If your return requires anything above and beyond type issues, they are going to start to tack on some fees. Do you want this? Do you want that? It’s not so clear as to what they are going to charge you until the end when they say, if you want to proceed and file this it is going to cost you ‘x’ amount.”

As for the tax refund anticipation loans that other companies offer, McWilliams says read the fine print for fees and interest rates.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio

Top Content On CBSPhilly

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE