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Free Tax Filing

Free Tax Filing: What You Need to Know

Taxes are a necessary part of adult life. Every year, millions of Americans file their taxes to comply with federal and state regulations. Although taxes can be a pain, there’s good news for those of us who procrastinate or don’t want to pay for tax preparation services. The IRS and private companies offer free tax filing services to taxpayers who meet certain criteria.

In this article, we’ll explore the different free tax filing options available, eligibility requirements, and benefits of utilizing these services.

What is Free Tax Filing?

Free tax filing is a service offered by the IRS and private companies to taxpayers who make a certain income level or have other qualifications. These services make filing your taxes more affordable and less stressful, without sacrificing the quality of preparation.

In fact, free tax filing can save taxpayers up to $200 in tax preparation fees. The IRS developed the Free File program to allow taxpayers to file for free online through tax preparation software provided by various private companies.

Free tax filing services are available for individuals who meet specific requirements. The most common eligibility requirements include:

– Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for the tax year is less than $72,000 – Active duty military personnel with an AGI of $72,000 or less – Those who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – Those who have disabilities – Those over the age of 60

There may be additional requirements for certain states or software providers, so make sure to check them before getting started.

How to Qualify for Free Tax Filing

To qualify for free tax filing, you must meet certain income criteria or specific qualifications. The IRS provides a Free File online lookup tool to help taxpayers determine if they are eligible. This tool can be accessed on the IRS website and is updated annually.

The tool will ask you a few questions to determine your eligibility, such as your AGI, age, and other criteria. Additionally, the IRS provides a list of free tax software services for taxpayers who meet their eligibility requirements.

Benefits of Free Tax Filing

Free tax filing services have several benefits, including:

– Affordability: Traditional tax preparation services can cost up to hundreds of dollars. Free tax filing eliminates the cost altogether, allowing taxpayers to save money on tax preparation fees.

– Convenience: Free tax filing services are available online, allowing taxpayers to file their taxes from anywhere. This eliminates the need to visit a tax professional’s office or mail in paper forms.

– Accuracy: Tax preparation software used for free tax filing programs are specifically designed to simplify the tax filing process. It includes built-in error-checking and math calculations, minimizing human errors that may result in penalties.

– Speed: Since most free tax filing services are completed online, the turnaround time is often faster than traditional methods. Taxpayers can expect to receive their refund within two weeks, compared to the six to eight weeks that paper returns may take to process.

Free Tax Filing Options

The IRS provides several options for free tax filing. These options vary by software provider and may have different eligibility requirements. Here is a brief overview of the available programs.

IRS Free File

Free File is the IRS’s free tax preparation and filing service for taxpayers who meet the eligibility criteria. It is a partnership between the IRS and private software providers, including TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer.

To use this service, taxpayers must access the Free File software through the IRS website. Once there, they will be directed to the appropriate software provider’s website based on their eligibility criteria. The process is free, and the software provider will guide taxpayers through the filing process.

Certain software providers offer free state return filing as well. However, some software providers may charge a fee for state returns or for more complex tax returns.

IRS Free Fillable Forms

IRS Free Fillable Forms is an option for taxpayers to fill out and electronically file their federal tax forms online. This service is available to taxpayers who are comfortable doing their taxes without the help of tax preparation software.

Free Fillable Forms do not provide any computation or guidance, and are only available for individual tax filers. Additionally, certain tax forms are not available through this service, such as tax forms for businesses or non-profit organizations.

Other Free Tax Filing Programs

In addition to the IRS Free File program, there are other free tax filing programs available for taxpayers. Here are some of them:

– MyFreeTaxes – This program is offered by United Way, and is available for taxpayers with an AGI of $66,000 or less. – Credit Karma Tax – For taxpayers with an AGI of $100,000 or less, Credit Karma Tax offers free federal and state tax preparation and filing. – FreeTaxUSA – This program offers free federal filing, but charges a fee for state return filing. – TaxAct – TaxAct offers a free online tax preparation and filing service for taxpayers who meet the eligibility criteria.


Taxes are a responsibility that cannot be avoided. However, free tax filing options are available to make this process easier and more affordable for taxpayers. By utilizing free tax filing programs, taxpayers can save money on tax preparation fees, enjoy the convenience of online filing, and potentially receive their refund more quickly.

Before selecting a free tax filing option, consider the eligibility criteria, software provider, and other options that may be available. Utilizing these services can make filing taxes a more enjoyable process.