The federal income tax filing season officially begins January 23, but he Internal Revenue Service says that its private-sector partners are already offering Americans Free File, the free tax software preparation program that gives eligible taxpayers “a dozen options for brand-name products.”
The companies will hold returns until filing opens on January 23. (The IRS reminds the public that the agency is required to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until February 15.)
Anyone whose adjusted gross income in 2016 was $64,000 or less – that’s more than 70 percent of taxpayers – will be eligible for Free File software. People who earned more than $64,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, which will be available for preparing taxes on January 23.
“You don’t have to be an expert on taxes,” said John A. Koskinen, IRS Commissioner. “Free File software can help walk you through the steps and help you get it right,” “For 14 years, this partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance has helped taxpayers prepare and file their federal taxes for free.”
Each of the 12 Free File providers have different criteria for use of their product, mostly based on income, age or state residency. However, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $64,000 or less for 2016 will find at least one product they can use.
The IRS says that taxpayers should use the Free Fill Software Lookup tool. Taxpayers can just enter in some information and let the tool find the products that match their situation.
Free File is available exclusively at IRS.gov/FreeFile. Since 2003, more than 49 million people have used Free File, saving more than $1.4 billion based on a conservative $30-fee estimate.