How you doin' (your taxes)?

Is filing your taxes annoying? Yes. But the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can forget about it.

I'm going to ruin Joey from Friends with a lame meme. Ready?

It's officially time to start asking yourself that sigh-inducing question. Both the state of Minnesota and federal IRS are accepting tax returns starting today (Monday, Jan. 23).

Is filing your taxes annoying? Yes. But the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can forget about it. And the sooner you can get your refund money (and then be sad a week later when you realize you blew through it already.)

Here's a quick look at how you can file – including for free – plus a few other things you should keep in mind.

Where can I file my taxes?

Remember, you have to file taxes with the USA, as well as the state of Minnesota.

Paper is still an option for both, and here are directions for the Minnesota return (including where it needs to be mailed). You can also bring it to a tax preparation place and pay to have someone do the returns for you.

But if you want something that's straightforward and will generally walk you through the process, e-filing is the way to go. There is a list of Minnesota-approved sites/software options here, and the IRS has a list too.

The state's Department of Revenue says more than 2 million Minnesotans did an e-file last year.

I don't want to pay to file my return

There's a good chance you don't have to.

As long as you made less than $64,000 last year, you can use a free file software.

Here's the IRS list – it includes TaxAct, some H&R Block services, TurboTax, and nine other options. The Minnesota Department of Revenue also has a list here. These are the ones the state has certified as being OK to do your Minnesota taxes through.

Some of the sites offer free federal returns, but make you pay for the state returns. Others offer both for free if you meet certain criteria. Check a few sites, do some comparing, and pick one you think makes sense for you.

What next?

Follow the directions, fill out what it asks you to fill out.

Once you hit submit, if everything looks OK, you'll get an email saying your federal and/or state returns have been accepted.

Done. Now what?

If you're getting a refund, track it.

You can check the status of your federal refund here.

Check the status of your Minnesota refund here.

Direct deposit tends to get you your money the fastest. They can mail you a check though, if you prefer.

Meanwhile, if you owe taxes, make sure to pay them. Here's the Minnesota link. And here's the federal link.

The deadline

The IRS has a look at changes for 2017, plus some other information that's good to know here. And Minnesota has plenty of FAQs and other state-specific information here.

The deadline to file your tax returns is Tuesday, April 18.

Next Up

covid-19, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas students robbed by suspects in ski masks

Nobody was injured in the early Saturday incident.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

Amid huge police presence, weekend rallies at state Capitol were tiny and peaceful

Officials across the U.S. remain on alert for possible violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.


Yep, health plans you buy on your own or through MNsure are more expensive

Earlier this month, we told you health plans you buy on your own or through MNsure might get a lot pricier. That is not longer a "might."

The Tip Jar: Dining out? Here's when and how much you should tip

Tipping can be a minefield – let us help you satisfy social conventions.

It's featured in Trump's tax return, so what is alternative minimum tax?

Donald Trump paid more tax in 2005 because of the alternative minimum tax, so what is it?

The Tip Jar: How to get the best deal when an airline bumps you from your flight

Flight bumping is in the headlines, so Tip Jar takes a look at how to make the most out of missing your flight.

The Tip Jar: How to make your groceries last as long as possible

A bit of forward planning and knowing how long food lasts will help cut your waste and save you money.

Key points from Trump's tax plan: What would it mean for your finances?

His plan would have major implications for families and businesses.

MNsure enrollment closes: Here's how many people bought plans

Nearly two-thirds of people who bought insurance through MNsure got a tax credit.