To pay someone to figure out how much you have to pay the government seems like adding insult to injury. For many taxpayers, there's an easier way.
Formed in 2003, IRS Free File is the product of a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a group of twelve online tax software suppliers that form the Free File Alliance including such familiar names as TaxSlayer and H&R Block. Free File was intended to increase electronic filing by making the process easier for a greater number of Americans. Both the tax preparation and the e-filing process are free. "You don't have to be an expert on taxes," says IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen. "Free File software can help walk you through the steps and help you get it right."
Over 53 million tax returns have been filed through the Free File system to date. You can use the Free File software if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) was $66,000 or less for the 2018 tax year. An estimated 70% of American taxpayers fall within this criterion. Taxpayers with an AGI of above $66,000 don't have access to the software, but may use the electronic Free File Fillable forms available on the IRS website.
You will need to gather up a few things before starting the Free File process, just as you would with any filing format.
You can estimate your AGI from last year's form to see if you qualify, or there are several AGI calculators available online to help you with the process. Assuming you qualify and wish to use Free File, follow these simple steps:
If you need further help, check to see if Free File is available at your nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) locations.
For those who qualify, Free File offers a simple, secure, and rapid means of filing your tax forms and receiving your refund as soon as possible. All the members of the Free File Alliance actively participate in the Security Summit Initiative, which provides safeguards against tax identity theft and raises awareness of current ID theft schemes. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft, join MoneyTips and check out our Identity Protector tool.
Remember to keep a copy of your tax return for your own records. If this is the first year you are using a tax software product, you may need the AGI amount from last year's tax return as a security precaution to verify your identity.
IRS Free File is available to use now for filing your 2018 taxes. Check the vendor options to see if any of them work for you. Why pay to file your taxes if you don't have to?
Failing to pay your taxes or a penalty you owe could negatively impact your credit score. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips.
Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/irs-free-file-101
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