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How to file your taxes for free with the IRS Free File program

How to file your taxes for free with the IRS Free File program
Posted at 9:20 AM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 05:20:56-05

Filing taxes can feel daunting, especially when you don’t have the funds to hire an accountant. But did you know that you can file your taxes for free?

The IRS Free File program is an invaluable resource. The program allows taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax returns for free. Although more than 100 million people, or 70% of taxpayers, qualify for the program, only about 2% of eligible Americans actually use it.

What Is IRS Free File?

The IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of leading tax preparation software companies, have partnered to provide the IRS Free File program. This program offers free electronic tax preparation and filing of federal tax returns at no cost to qualifying taxpayers. Some also offer free state returns.

This program provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income taxes online for free.

  • Guided Tax Preparation: Taxpayers with an annual gross income (AGI) of  $73,000 or less can receive free online tax preparation and filing at an IRS partner site.
  • Free File Fillable Forms: Electronic federal tax forms, equivalent to paper 1040 forms, are an option for taxpayers who are comfortable following instructions and referring to IRS publications if necessary. Taxpayers whose AGI exceeds $73,000 can use this free option.

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How To Use IRS Free File

To take advantage of this program, you must begin at IRS.gov. Going directly to a partner company’s website will prevent you from receiving the free services.

If you choose Guided Tax Preparation, you will be able to view all the IRS partners available, from TaxSlayer and TaxAct or FileYourTaxes.com. After selecting an option, you’ll need to create a new account or log in to an existing one.

After your federal tax return is prepared and e-filed, you will receive an email from the IRS confirming acceptance of your return.

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Note that if you complete your tax preparation and your 2022 AGI exceeds $73,000, you will not be able to e-file your federal taxes for free.

If you select Free File Fillable Forms, you’ll be provided instructions before you begin. You can open the User’s Guide PDF to use as a reference and Line-by-Line Instructions to help you fill out the forms.

No matter what state you live in or how complex your return may be, plenty of options are available to help make filing your taxes more effortless and affordable in 2023.

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