The personal finance company Credit Karma has debuted Credit Karma Tax, an online self-directed tax preparation service that provides free federal and state tax preparation, along with free electronic filing, for Credit Karma members.

To offer the new service, Credit Karma acquired AFJC Corporation, a provider of online tax preparation, filing and related services for individuals, certified tax preparers, financial institutions and affinity marketers. AFJC has been operating an online self-directed tax preparation and filing service known as OnePriceTaxes, along with Tax Preparer Solutions, a provider of co-branded and private-label online tax preparation and filing services.

Up to now, Credit Karma has mainly specialized in providing consumers with credit scores, credit reports and credit-monitoring services. 

“Today almost half of all Americans can’t afford a $400 financial emergency, yet many spend more than $70—and in many cases, far more—just to prepare and file their taxes. That shouldn’t be the case,” said Credit Karma CEO Kenneth Lin in a statement. “Just as we’ve done by providing free credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring, Credit Karma Tax will help people make financial progress, without any trial periods, hidden fees or gimmicks.”

Credit Karma plans to start a phased launch for the tax service in January in time for the upcoming tax filing season. For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com/tax.

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