In addition to offering comprehensive tax services for 70 percent of taxpayers, Free File also offers basic federal e-filing services with no income limitations. This basic e-filing service, called Free File Fillable Forms, allows taxpayers who are familiar with tax law and need no preparation assistance to complete and file their federal income tax electronically. There are no income limitations to use Free File Fillable Forms, which will be available starting January 31.
“By providing online commercial tax preparation software at no cost, Free File has saved American taxpayers $1.2 billion since it began in 2003,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. “Free File is the only service that allows users to access and compare free tax software options from more than a dozen top companies. With Free File, industry-leading tax software is all in one place, and it’s all free.
Hugo continued, “This year, we invite all taxpayers making $58,000 or less to visit www.irs.gov/freefile and take the guesswork out of doing their taxes.”
IRS Free File is available at www.irs.gov/freefile, which provides a list of Free File Alliance member companies and their free tax software offerings. Users may either choose the company that fits their needs or utilize the “help me find a company” tool. After selecting a company, users will be transferred to the company's website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. The service is also available in Spanish.
The Free File Alliance is also partnered with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – a walk-in service for low-to-moderate income taxpayers. Free File software will be available at self-assist kiosks at VITA sites in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Through this partnership with VITA, the Free File Alliance will be able to provide preparation and e-filing services for taxpayers who do not have Internet access at home, as well as those who want to e-file, but need additional, in-person assistance.
Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers have consistently reported that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.