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    Free Tax Preparation & Electronic Filing - IRS Free File

    While last year the Free File program was available to all people regardless of income, many of the participants weren't happy about that development (three of the private tax preparers decided to scrap all restrictions meaning that anyone who wanted to could prepare and file their taxes electronically for free. This move lead many of the other tax prepares to follow suit). This year the group got together and decided that taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less would qualify. Those with a higher AGI no longer qualify through the Free File program. This is supposed to cover roughly 70% of the people filing taxes.

    If your AGI is over $50,000, you still can file for free with TaxAct which lets anyone use its standard version for free. You can either file over the Internet or download the TaxAct software onto your computer. The TaxAct offer is limited to federal tax returns. If you choose to go with TaxAct, be prepared to endure constant promotions for TaxAct Deluxe ($9.95 for a federal tax return).

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    The Free File program was established due to the government wanting to encourage more taxpayers to file electronic returns since electronic tax returns are much cheaper for the IRS to process. Tax software preparations companies, afraid that the government would create its own tax preparation software, agreed to the Free File tax filing partnership to avoid this from happening and thus ensuring they remained in the tax preparation loop.

    The Free File tax preparation program agreement between the IRS and private tax preparers requires that the participating tax companies, as a whole, to provide at least 60% of taxpayers free online tax preparation and filing access. The IRS doesn't spell out any specific rules for the private tax preparation companies and won't as long as the 60% goal is met each year.

    By using Free File tax preparation program through the IRS website, taxpayers don't need to purchase expensive tax preparation software or pay any fees to file their return electronically. To qualify for this free service, however, <b>you must go through the IRS website</b>. If you go directly to the tax preparation website you will be charged $19.95 or more for the exact same service. To use the IRS Free File program, go to <A HREF="http://www.irs.gov">www.irs.gov</A>, click on "Free File" link and then on any of the tax services that offer the service for free to anyone.

    While the government likes electronic filing because of the cost reductions, it also offers advantages to taxpayers. Filing electronically often helps taxpayers catch common tax preparation errors saving them both time and money. It also allows for taxpayers to receive their tax refunds much more quickly.

    All the services in the Free File tax program are tested by the IRS for security and accuracy, but the IRS does not endorse any of the tax products or other services offered for sale by the participating companies.
    Last edited by jeffrey; 06-22-2007, 05:04 AM.

    #2
    Re: Free Tax Preparation &amp; Electronic Filing For All - IRS Free File

    still valid?

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      #3
      Re: Free Tax Preparation &amp; Electronic Filing For All - IRS Free File

      Nope...need to update...this was last year. Free File is good for anyone with a AGI of $50,000 or less (supposedly 70% of the population). If you a higher AGI more, <a href="http://www.taxact.com">TaxAct</a> is free.

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        #4
        Re: Free Tax Preparation &amp; Electronic Filing For All - IRS Free File

        Okay - updated. The information in the article is correct for 2005 taxes

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Free Tax Preparation &amp; Electronic Filing - IRS Free File

          I've used this. I used H&R block but I'm going to check it with Turbo Tax too. I always run both, I've found that it can make a difference of several hundred dollars, using all the same numbers (I figure since they guarantee their computations I'll go with the one that is best for me and call on them in an audit).

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            #6
            how do i go about on starting

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jalonzo808 View Post
              how do i go about on starting
              IRS Free File

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