Tax season is in full swing and many would be surprised to learn they can file their federal taxes electronically without ever spending a penny.

Saving money is top priority among many this year as the economy has left it a necessity. This includes those who are anticipating a refund and want to eliminate as much cost from their tax filing as possible. For this reason many are opting to do the work themselves and pay only for the software they need. However, it may be possible to do so without paying for any software or filing fees on those federal returns.

Three of the top tax filing software programs offer a free federal edition for the basic tax return. Anyone who needs to file a simple return and does not need all the bells and whistles of the more advanced programs is eligible to use these free software programs.  Each of them also includes a free efile for the federal return.

The three software providers offering a free edition are TurboTax, TaxAct and H&R Block at Home. Users can visit the website for either of the three and use their online filing software to prepare their return. They will then have the choice to print out and mail their return or file it electronically.

The free efile is for the federal return and there may be additional charges if state taxes are filed using the software.