WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has launched a free filing option for federal income-tax filers.
This year, 13 brand-name tax software providers are making their federal tax-return products available without charge. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $62,000 or less during 2015 are eligible for at least one, if not more, of the 13 tax software products.
The income limitation is $2,000 higher than last year. People can use Free File software immediately.
For taxpayers who earned more than $62,000, they can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms.
“You don’t have to be an expert on taxes. Free File software can help walk you through the steps and help you get it right,” said John A. Koskinen, IRS commissioner. “For 13 years, this partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance has helped taxpayers. The real winner in this partnership has been the nation’s taxpayers.”
Free File is available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile. Since 2003, more than 46 million people have used Free File, saving nearly $1.4 billion based on a conservative $30-fee estimate.
Additionally, new for this year, several software providers also are offering the easy importation of Form W-2 information that can help reduce errors.
More than 70 percent of all taxpayers — 100 million people — are eligible for the software products. Each of the 13 companies has its own special offers, generally based on age, income or state residency. Taxpayers can review each company offer or they can use a “Help Me” tool that will find the software for which they are eligible.
Free File also can help taxpayers with the new health-care requirements. Just as last filing season, almost everyone will need to provide some information when filing a tax return this year. For each month in 2015, taxpayers and everyone on their return must:
– Report health care coverage, or, claim an exemption from coverage, or make a shared responsibility payment with their tax return.
Most people will simply have to check a box to report health-care coverage for the entire year.
If a taxpayer or anyone on their return purchased coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace, they may be eligible for the premium tax credit. If they opted for any advance payments of the premium tax credit to help with their monthly insurance premium payments, they must file a tax return, even if they were not required to file. Taxpayers must reconcile their advance payments with the amount they were due. Learn more at IRS.gov/aca.
Taxpayers have the option to prepare their return at any time and schedule a tax payment as late as this year’s April 18 tax deadline. Taxpayers who can’t meet the April 18 tax-filing deadline can also use Free File to file a six-month extension.
The IRS reminds that the fastest way to get your refund is through e-file and direct deposit. WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has launched a free filing option for federal income-tax filers.