Ask Dow Jones: “Free File” program at IRS website

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Q: Where can I get information for this year about the “Free File” program available online through the Internal Revenue Service? — S.N., Tucson, Ariz. A: The IRS recently posted details on its Web site. Go to the site (, and look for “Check Out Free File.” What’s Free File all about? Many companies are offering free Web-based federal income- tax preparation and electronicfiling services. More than five million people used Free File last year. This year, there’s a major change: The offers apply only to taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less. Last year, several big firms offered freebies with no income limits. Even so, an IRS spokeswoman says that about 93 million taxpayers are eligible this year for the free tax-preparation software and e-filing. That’s about 70% of all filers. This program stems from a pact last year between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of private- sector tax-preparation software companies. Among the companies participating are some of the nation’s best-known software brands, but there are many others, too. Don’t assume all the offers are the same. They’re not. As the IRS points out, individual company offers may be limited to specific income levels, certain states or other factors. For instance, H&R Block’s TaxCut Online is available free only if you are 50 or younger with adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less. The IRS says it has discontinued telephone filing, known as “Telefile.” Officials say many people who used this service in the past may qualify for the new free-filing services.— HURRICANE VICTIMS can get help from a new IRS Publication. See Publication 4492, available on the IRS site. It offers helpful tips for taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. For example, it tells how to claim unreimbursed losses. It also explains new rules on charitable giving.last_img

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