The IRS started offering its Free File option back in 2003. Over the years, technology has changed some. However, the basics of the program are still largely the same.
The 2022 tax season officially starts next Monday, January 24th. As a result, the IRS is once again rolling out this cost-effective program. You can connect with a number of tax preparers to file your 2022 income taxes without having to pay.
What Is IRS Free File?
IRS Free File is a program that allows taxpayers to do their taxes at no cost. Until next week, you can use the IRS website to get all of your applicable tax forms and fill them out online. This gives everyone an early opportunity to cash in on the Child Tax Credit, the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, or the ever-popular Earned Income Tax Credit, according to the IRS website.
Later in the month, many leading tax preparers will offer Free File through their partnership with the IRS. In fact, many taxpayers may have taken advantage of this program in the past without knowing.
In short, this program allows taxpayers to complete and file their tax returns for free.
Perks of the Program
The IRS has offered Free File for nearly two decades. However, it has become more popular since the pandemic made doing as many things from home as possible the norm. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “IRS Free File offers taxpayers an easy, free way to do their taxes from the safety of their own home.” He noted that it also provides electronic filing with direct deposit. This, he says, “…is the best way to receive refunds quickly and securely.”
Who Is Eligible?
The good news is that many American taxpayers are eligible for the IRS Free File program. Eligibility is based on income. Those who made $73,000 or less are eligible to use the program. Unlike many other benefits Americans have received from the IRS in the last couple of years, there is no real sliding scale. The income eligibility amount isn’t different for those who are filing jointly or separately. The $73,000 cutoff is for both individuals and households.
What Tax Preparers Offer Free File
The best way to find a tax preparer that is participating in Free File is to visit the program’s page on the IRS website. There, you’ll be able to browse all the available products and providers. It is important to note that the official eligibility criteria is the income-based cutoff mentioned above. However, each preparer sets their own limitations that include income, state residency, and age. But, anyone within the income range will find at least one provider that will fit their needs.