IRS Free File opens today, Jan. 14, to start its ninth year of helping make taxes a little less taxing.
Everyone can use Free File, the free way to prepare and e-file federal taxes either through brand-name software or online fillable forms. Individuals or families with 2010 adjusted gross incomes of $58,000 or less can use Free File software. Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, has no income restrictions.
Free File is an excellent option to file your taxes electronically, " said Joe Munoz, spokesperson for the IRS. "You can even file your taxes for free and in Spanish. "
Free File software is a product of a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC. The Alliance is a consortium of approximately 20 tax software providers who make versions of their products available exclusive at www.irs.gov/freefile. All Free File members must meet certain security requirements and use the latest in encryption technology to protect taxpayers’ information.
Seventy percent of taxpayers are eligible for Free File software. It’s perfect for first-time filers, families looking to save money or older Americans adept at using the Internet.
People with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less are eligible for at least one software product if not more. Each of the Free File software providers sets their own eligibility requirements, usually based on qualifiers such as income, state residency, age or military status.
The easiest way to locate a software provider is to use the online tool that, with a little of a taxpayer’s personal information, can identify matching products. Or, taxpayers can review all providers and their offers. Some software providers also offer state income tax preparation for free or for a fee.
For taxpayers whose incomes are more than $58,000, there’s Free File Fillable Forms. This program is best for taxpayers experienced in preparing their own federal tax returns. For people who prefer doing their taxes the old fashioned way – by paper – this is an electronic alternative.
Free File Fillable Forms performs some math calculations and provides links to some IRS publications. It does not use the familiar question-and-answer format used by software. Taxpayers can e-file the forms for free. It also does not support state income tax returns.
Taxpayers must access the tax products through IRS.gov to avoid any charges for preparing or e-file a federal tax
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