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IRS Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

February 9, 2016

The IRS offers free tax return preparation for those earning less than $62,000. Filers who are employees, employers or self-employed can choose from 13 brand-name software programs to prepare their tax returns for free. Those earning more than $62,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms, electronic versions of the paper forms.

Free File Software

Taxpayers with income of $62,000 or less can use free tax preparation software available at irs.gov. There are 13 free file software offers to choose from. Each software has different qualifying factors. Some companies offer free state tax returns as well. Free File offers the following services:

  • Free online return preparation
  • E-file for electronic filing
  • Direct deposit

If you have trouble deciding on the appropriate software to prepare your return, you may use the IRS tool ‘Help Me Find Free File Software’. By answering simple question about your age, adjusted gross income, place of residence, eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and military status, you can quickly find out which software to use for your return preparation.

To prepare your return, you will need your email address, copy of prior year’s tax return, and documents of your income and deductions.

Free File Fillable Forms

Fillable Forms allow taxpayers with income above $62,000 to prepare, print and efile their tax return regardless of age, income or state. Before using Free File Fillable Forms, filers should review the following:

  • You need to create a new account each year to use this service. All accounts are removed after October 20 each year to protect taxpayer information. Create a new account by visiting https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd.
  • This service only performs basic calculations.
  • It supports filing an extension, Form 4868.
  • Federal tax preparation and e-file for forms, including 1040, 1040EZ and 1040A are available for free on this service. However, state preparation and state e-file are not available. Nearly all forms for the 2016 filing season are available.
  • You may efile your return in Step 2.
  • Free File Fillable Forms cannot be used by paid return preparers.

If you efile your return, you can track your tax refund using the IRS tool ‘Where’s My Refund?’.


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