WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2007 -- The Internal Revenue Service is trying to encourage tax filers with an adjusted gross income of less than $52,000 to take advantage of a free file program in which the government agency partners with private-sector partners to provide the service.
According to the IRS, up to 20 Free File Alliance companies will participate in the program.
- Seventy percent of the nation's taxpayers - those with an adjusted gross income of $52,000 or less - are eligible for Free File. Each company sets its own criteria for who can use the service.
- Taxpayers will be able to use Free File to request the Telephone Excise Tax Refund. Taxpayers can either request the standard amount, which ranges from $30-$60, or the actual amount. Some alliance members will provide free access to Form 1040EZ-T for those people who have no legal obligation to file a tax return, but who can request the one-time telephone excise tax refund. Some alliance members also will offer free access to Form 8913 to request the actual amount.
- Two companies will offer Free File in Spanish.
- Participants will no longer offer refund anticipation loans (RALs) and other ancillary products.
- Some Alliance members are offering the state return for free. All Alliance members' Web sites display whether state online tax preparation and filing services are available and the associated fees, if any.
- Taxpayers can use Free File to file a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File.
The IRS while pushing the program to taxpayers says, "The IRS does not endorse any Free File Alliance company. While the IRS manages the content of the Free File pages accessible on IRS.gov, it does not retain any taxpayer information entered on the Free File site."
The IRS says before selecting a company link users should review the tax software company's criteria to confirm that you meet their eligibility requirements for preparing and e-filing your federal return for free.
Be advised filing of state tax returns may not be free and fees may apply at some web sites and remember YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO BUY ANY OF THE COMPANY'S OTHER PRODUCTS OR SERVICES TO FILE YOUR FREE TAX RETURN AS LONG AS YOU MEET THE GUIDELINES.
The IRS also says you need to access Free File through the IRS Web Site: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html