Are You Eligible for Free File with the IRS?

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the ways that you can save money is by using Free File to prepare your taxes. You can file your taxes online for free, with the help of online forms, and even use commercial free file software from IRS partners.

Free file is a great way to get help on your taxes for free. You can check with the IRS free file site to get started, and get a list of participating partners who are willing to help you file their taxes.

In order to take advantage of the Free File program, you need to have an Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less for 2011 (this changes each year, adjusted for inflation). You can choose a software provider and use the Free File software to help you figure your taxes, and then file them. This can be a good way to avoid paying fees for someone else to figure your taxes.

It is also worth noting that many tax preparation offices will prepare a 1040-EZ and file it free of charge, and some will even help those with low incomes file a simple 1040 Form. Ask different taxes offices what their policies are, and what programs they offer. There is no reason to pay to file your taxes if you are eligible for Free File, or some other program.

Free Fillable Forms

Even if your AGI is more than $57,000 for 2011, you can still take advantage of free fillable forms. These online forms allow you to fill in your information online, and some of the forms can even perform some of the calculations for you. These forms are great for those who like to do their own taxes, and would like a free way to access simple tax filing tools. However, these forms don’t follow the same pattern of asking you questions and having you answer them to fill in automatically. These are the forms that come if you pick up a regular paper packet.

Once you are done filling out all of the forms, you can use free eFile from the IRS to file your taxes. The fillable forms are a way for some filers to avoid paying for software and still be able to fill out their forms electronically. This method is free to anyone, regardless of income level.

Getting Free Help with Your Taxes

It is also possible for the elderly, and for those with low incomes, to find help doing their taxes. There are community organizations, including VITA and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, that provide low cost and free help to do your taxes. Many colleges also provide free help for tax questions as a way for business and accounting majors to get practice.

On top that, you can always contact the IRS for free help with your taxes. You can check with the instructions on the IRS web site, or even call the IRS for free help with a toll-free number (1-800-829-1040 for individuals).

File electronically, and designate direct deposit, and you can get your tax refund within as little as seven to 10 days.

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