IRS Free File now available for taxpayers

IRS Free File, which has been making taxes a little less “taxing” for a decade, opened Jan. 17. More than 33 million returns have been filed through Free File since its debut.
Anyone can use Free File, either the brand-name software offered by the IRS’s commercial partners or the online fillable forms. Individuals or families with 2011 adjusted gross incomes of $57,000 or less can use Free File software. Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, has no income restrictions.
“Free File truly helps make taxes less taxing. Taking advantage of this program means you can prepare and electronically file your tax return, for free,” said IRS spokeswoman Anabel Marquez. “It’s great because the software helps you find any tax breaks you are due.”
Seventy percent of taxpayers– 100 million people– 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.
The easiest way to locate a software provider is to use the online “get help” tool at that, with a little of a taxpayer’s information such as income, age and state residency, can identify matching free-file 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 $57,000, there’s Free File Fillable Forms, available only at the IRS website. 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.
Taxpayers must access the free-file products through to avoid any charges for preparing or e-filing a federal tax return.
Once taxpayers have selected a Free File software product, they will be directed away from to the partner’s site to prepare and e-file their returns. The IRS does not retain any personal information from the taxpayers.

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