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Monday July 22, 2024

Washington News

Washington Hotline

IRS Free File Now Available

On January 12, 2024, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the IRS Free File service is now available. This is the 22nd year that the Free File program is available. There are still two weeks until the IRS starts to process individual tax returns on January 29, and millions of Americans qualify to start their filing process.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel stated, "The IRS continues its partnership with Free File Inc. to give taxpayers an opportunity to file their taxes electronically for free. Taxpayers will always have choices for how they file their taxes. They can file using tax software, a trusted tax professional, Free File or free tax preparation services through IRS partners. Through the years, Free File has helped millions of taxpayers, and it remains an important option for people to consider using to quickly and easily file their taxes."

The Free File program is available through a partnership involving the IRS and tax software providers. The eight tax software providers will enable taxpayers with a 2023 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $79,000 or less to use the service. One of the eight tax programs is also available in Spanish.

Individuals who use the Free File software will have their returns filed on January 29. If a taxpayer has an AGI over $79,000, after January 29, he or she may use the IRS Free File Fillable Forms. This is an electronic version of IRS Form 1040 and related tax materials.

Some of the Free File providers will have limited eligibility rules and may not allow returns for incomes up to $79,000. However, active-duty military taxpayers with AGI up to $79,000 may use any of the eight providers.

Free File is an excellent way to receive all your tax benefits. These benefits may include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit or other various credits. The 2023 EITC is available for taxpayers with earned income under $63,398.

If you are interested in Free File, you should go to Use the "Explore Free Guided Tax Software" button to review the trusted partners and select your desired program. You will follow links to the tax provider’s website to complete your return. The tax software providers also support mobile phone access to complete a return on a smartphone or tablet.

Editor's Note: The IRS Direct File program is now in testing. The Direct File initial rollout will be for states without a state income tax. There will also be income limits and a simplified return. If the rollout is successful, there is a possibility the IRS Direct File will eventually replace the Free File program.

Published January 19, 2024

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