Free tax help options for last minute tax filers

With the April 18 tax deadline close at hand, Alabamians have e-filed nearly 397,000 tax returns from their own computers, an increase of 10.8 percent over last year at this time, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

But the IRS estimates that 350,000 Alabamians have waited until April to file their federal income tax returns and another 125,500 are expected to request a six-month filing extension. Those who owe tax must either file their return or an extension form by April 18 to avoid the late-filing penalty.

"Montgomery-area residents filing a last-minute tax return or extension can benefit from e-filing or going to an IRS help site," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.

Do-it-yourself filers whose household income was $58,000 or less last year can use brand-name tax software free at, through the Free File program. Free File includes a Fillable Forms option and an option to file an extension, both free for all filers, regardless of income.

Filers age 60 or older or whose household income was $49,000 or less can get free tax preparation and e-filing at local help sites staffed by IRS-trained volunteers. Filers can check for a partial list of sites or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-906-9887 to find the closest help site and get a list of what documents to bring to the site.

The official IRS website,, is a 24/7 source for tax services and information, including checking refund status, setting up a payment plan and checking eligibility for certain tax credits or deductions. Android or iPhone owners can use the free phone app, IRS2Go, to check refund status.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Internal Revenue Service