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Mar 4, 2022

Do You Know About the IRS’ Free File Program?

By Claire Grant

You may be eligible for access to free tax filing services.

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If you earn $73,000 or less annually, you may be able to use a service to file your federal tax return for free through a program from the IRS. 

The IRS partners with the nonprofit organization Free File Alliance, a group of eight software companies that offer tax filing services. The IRS and the Free File Alliance have given roughly 100 million taxpayers free access to tax preparation software through the Free File Program since 2003.  Taxpayers who qualify for the program can access software from up to 8 tax-preparation companies including TaxAct and 1040Now.

How does the program work?

As a general rule, you may be able to qualify for the free tax filing services if your individual or joint adjusted gross income with a spouse is $73,000 or less. 

But each tax prep service lists its own qualifications which can include restrictions around income, age, military status, and more. Here are a few examples: 

  • FileYourTaxes.com offers free filing for people who earn between $9,500 and $73,000, and are 65 years or younger. People living in certain states can file state taxes for free. 
  • TaxAct provides a free service for people 56 years old and younger, who earn $65,000 or less annually. Some state filings are also free.
  • With Free1040TaxReturn.com, people who are any age and earn $73,000 can file for free, except if they live in certain states. 

The IRS provides a lookup tool to help taxpayers find the free service that works best for them. 

About 57 million American taxpayers have used this program since it started in 2003, according to the Free File Alliance. The program has reportedly saved taxpayers $1.7 billion in tax preparation fees, according to the IRS. 

Some but not all of the services allow you to file your state tax return for free, depending on the state.

When can I file my taxes?

Your employer should send any W-2 or 1099 forms you need to file your taxes by January 31, 2022. The IRS started accepting federal tax returns on January 24, 2022. 

Taxes are due on April 18, 2022. So make sure to file your tax return before that date.

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author

Written by

Claire Grant

Claire is a content writer for Stash.

This should not be construed as tax advice. Please consult a tax professional for additional questions.
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