Free File Opens Friday, Offers Free Tax Prep and E-filing

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

To help people get a jump on their taxes before the Jan. 31 filing season opens, the Internal Revenue Service Friday announced the immediate availability of Free File brand-name software for most taxpayers.

Fourteen commercial software companies that provide their Free File tax prep products at no cost began offering their products Friday, Jan. 17 -- available only at IRS.gov/freefile.

Although you can complete and e-file your tax return now, the Free File companies will hold it until Jan. 31 when the IRS begins accepting returns. As previously announced, the IRS delayed the filing season due to critical system testing following the federal government closure.

“Many tax preparers and tax software companies are now open for return preparation, including Free File. If you plan to get a head start on your taxes, remember to e-file. Electronic filing will allow software companies to hold your return and to automatically send it to the IRS on Jan. 31. There is absolutely no advantage to filing by paper,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “If you want to save money and time, just use Free File to prepare and e-file your federal return at no charge.”

Last year in Wisconsin, 69,954 people used Free File. Overall, taxpayers filed around 2.8 million individual tax returns in the state.

Here’s how it works:

· At IRS.gov/freefile, select the “Free File Software” button. Each of the 14 Free File companies sets specific offers – generally based on income, state residency and age – to use their software. If your income is $58,000 or less, you will find at least one, if not more, offers available to you.

Free File is for federal returns but most companies also offer state tax return preparation, some for free.

· If your income was more than $58,000, you can still do your taxes and e-file them. Just select the “Free File Fillable Forms” button. Again, this product will be available starting Jan. 31.


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