If you earn $69,000 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 has partnered with the nonprofit organization called the Free File Alliance, a group of 10 companies that offer tax filing software 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 10 tax-preparation companies including H&R Block and Intuit*.

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 $69,000 or less. 

But each tax prep service lists its own qualifications which can include restrictions around income, age, military status, and more. For example, you can file for free with H&R Block if your adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less and you are between 17 and 51. To file using Intuit’s TurboTax, however, you must earn $36,000 or less, and there are no age restrictions.

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

About 70% of American taxpayers are eligible for this program, according to the Free File Alliance. The program has reportedly saved taxpayers $1.5 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, 2020. The IRS started accepting federal tax returns on January 27, 2020.

Taxes are due on April 15, 2020. So make sure to file your tax return before that date.

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