Federal income taxes are easier to file than ever with the help of the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has joined with tax software companies to make tax software available to filers with incomes below $58,000. Taxpayers can prepare and file taxes online with e-file and Free File. Incomes over $58,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms. Nearly 100 million taxpayers used IRS e-file in 2010, according to the IRS. A new system of Modernized e-File or MeF will be completely in place by 2012 to take the place of e-file.
Use the IRS website to go to the tax software of your choice. The IRS suggests that you calculate your adjusted gross income to see if you qualify for free filing below $58,000. Once you determine that you qualify for Free File, click to decide which tax software you want to use. By using the IRS portal, you can use the software and file for free. If you go directly to the software, you may pay for the service. If you purchase the software and install it on your computer, you will receive free e-file service with some brands without an additional charge for the e-file.
Free File Fillable Forms
If you do not qualify for free tax software, use the Free File fillable forms. These are the forms you used to receive in the mail, but the online forms do basic math calculations for you. You may complete the forms with Free File and e-file from the website or print the completed forms if you prefer. You may return to the forms later to complete or print, but you will need your user ID and password. This database includes Schedule C and forms you need if you operate a business or are self-employed.
The IRS provides grants to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states to assist taxpayers with questions and free e-filing a tax return. Check with your local library or call 800-906-8997 for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in your area. If you are over age 60, you can receive assistance from the AARP Tax-Aide program and receive free e-file as well. The AARP accepts tax questions on the website if you have a question before you e-file your return. You may call the IRS at 800-529-1040 for assistance as well, so your questions are answered before e-filing.
If you owe additional taxes, you may e-file your return and submit the tax payment by mail or in a form acceptable to the IRS. Include a payment voucher or Form 1040-V if you choose to pay by mail. You do not have to include a copy of your tax return but your payment must be postmarked by the first working day after April 14 at the latest to avoid any late payment penalties. You may also pay electronically with credit or debit card for a fee.
Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.