It’s tax season, and many people use software like TurboTax or H&R Block to file their taxes. But did you know you can do your federal taxes for free using the IRS Free File program?

What’s IRS Free File?

IRS Free File is a public-private partnership between the IRS and various tax preparation and filing software companies that offer their brand products for free. To use IRS Free File, choose an IRS Free File option from a partner company and prepare and file your tax return on their website. You’ll receive an email when they accept your return. You can only process your current year tax return, not a prior-year return, using Free File.

How to use Free File to prepare and file federal income tax

IRS Free File offers two ways for taxpayers to file their tax return:

Traditional IRS Free File

This option allows you to prepare and file your tax return on IRS partner sites for free. Only taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $72,000 qualify for IRS Free File partner offers.

Free File Fillable Forms

These are electronic forms you can fill out and file online at no cost. You must know how to file your tax return if you choose this option, which is only available for taxpayers whose AGI is more than $72,000.

What you need to process your tax return using Free File

Personal information

– A copy of last year’s tax return to check your AGI

– Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and dependent(s), if any

Income and receipts

– Unemployment Compensation

– All receipts related to your small business, if applicable

– Income receipts from real estate, rental, trusts, partnerships, S corporations, and royalties

– Social Security benefits

Other income

– Form 1099-INT, which shows the interest you received throughout the year

– W-2s, which show your annual wages from all your employers

– Forms 1099-DIV and 1099-R, which show distributions and dividends you receive from retirement and other plans during the year

– Form 1099-G, which shows any credit, refund, or offset of local and state taxes

ACA Filers

– Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit)

– Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace Statement)

To file electronically, you’ll need your prior-year return and a personal identification number (PIN). 

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