WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Taxpayers can get a head start on preparing their tax returns as Free federal tax preparation and e-filing software is now available at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile to all Americans with a 2016 adjusted gross income (AGI) of $64,000 or less. Powered by The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 12 industry-leading tax software companies partnered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Free File program gives eligible taxpayers free access to the industry's most innovative and secure tax software in order to easily prepare and e-file their federal tax returns.
More than 70 percent of all taxpayers — 100 million people — are eligible to use Free File, which is available now at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile. Not only is the Free File income limitation $2,000 higher than last year for free federal tax services, but there are also more options for free state tax return preparation. Taxpayers can visit www.IRS.gov/FreeFile and utilize the "Help Me Find Free File Software" tool to identify software options for free federal returns.
"If your income is $64,000 or less, Free File is there to take the guesswork out of doing your federal tax returns," said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. "Our software offers step-by-step help to get your federal taxes done quickly, safely and at absolutely no cost, and we now offer more free state tax services than ever. New in 2017, active duty military personnel with incomes of $64,000 or less may use any Free File software product offered by the 12 tax preparation companies without regard to criteria.
Free File helps you navigate tax changes for 2017 as the Free File software does the hard work for you. For example, there are many tax changes that potentially affects millions of taxpayers including the new law that requires the IRS to hold all refunds that contain an EITC (earned income tax credit) or ACTC (additional child tax credit) benefit until February 15th – time to ensure that the claims are accurate. This may result in refunds, from these types of tax returns, to not be deposited into accounts until the week of February 27th. To learn more, visit the IRS website at: Refund Timing for EITC and ACTC.
The Free File Alliance and its members continue to make the protection of taxpayers' personal information a priority through its participation in the Security Summit Initiative. The Alliance and its members, along with the IRS, state tax agencies and others in the tax industry, are active participants in the Security Summit Initiative in order to provide additional identity theft safeguards for tax filing. To learn more about the Security Awareness campaign, visit the IRS webpage at: Taxes, Security, Together.
Hugo continued, "The Free File program has provided over 49 million returns valued at almost $1.4 billion in free tax software over the last 14 years, and we hope to see even more taxpayers take advantage of the service in 2017. IRS.gov/Free File is the one place where taxpayers can choose from a variety of the industry's most innovative and secure tax software options."
Starting January 23, basic federal e-filing services, called Free File Fillable Forms, will also be available regardless of income level. 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.
By making industry-leading tax software available at no cost, Free File has introduced millions of Americans, many of whom could not otherwise afford tax software, to the efficiency and ease of e-filing. The program has continually advanced the IRS' e-filing initiative, while meeting a critical need for affordable, quality tax software options. Responding to a recent 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.
Remember, the only way to access Free File and its free federal tax return preparation options is by visiting IRS.gov/FreeFile.
About the Free File Alliance
The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 12 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of taxpayers free access to the industry's top online tax preparation software. More than 49 million returns have been filed through Free File since its inception. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.
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SOURCE Free File Alliance