My tax rights, Free file program, tax questions, tax information, how to file taxes, claim stimulus payment, tax education, federal tax information, free tax information

Free File Program Info & FAQs

Learn how simple it is to self-prepare and file your taxes online for free using the Free File program. If you made under $73,000 in 2021, you're good to go!

My tax rights, Free file program, tax questions, tax information, how to file taxes, claim stimulus payment, tax education, federal tax information, free tax information

Note, many Free File companies offer their own "free" preparation services that are not connected to the Free File program. Thus, it is important to carefully read the terms and conditions for any of these other "free" services to ensure you do not end up being charged for what should be free.

The Free file program In-A-Flash

The IRS established the Free File program in 2003 as a way of providing free online tax preparation and electronic return filing to 70% of the taxpaying population. The program is made possible through a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance---a coalition of tax preparation software companies. For tax year 2021, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less were eligible to use Free File (i.e., approximately 104 million taxpayers). But only a mere 2.5 million taxpayers opted to file their 2019 returns through Free File, while more than 50 million eligible taxpayers opted for a paid preparer service. 

Choosing a paid preparer service over the Free File program means that hundreds of millions of dollars are likely being wasted by low-income taxpayers on a service that is otherwise free. So why the low Free File participation rate? Well, recent comprehensive studies published by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration indicate that taxpayers are largely unaware of the Free File program's existence or unsure how to successfully locate a Free File offer. MyTaxRights seeks to directly address these shortfalls by: (1) boosting awareness of beneficial programs like Free File; and (2) promoting the use of online do-it-yourself tax preparation services as a safe and efficient way for taxpayers to prepare and file their tax returns.

Note also that many of the participating Free File companies offer free tax preparation services separate from the Free File program, but these services are not under the same consumer-friendly marketing constraints. Thus, taxpayers should carefully read through the terms and conditions of any the separate "free" services.

Lastly, if you do not qualify for the Free File program because you made more than $73,000, you can still self-prepare and electronically file your taxes for free using IRS's Free Fillable Forms. Note, however, you will not have access to the tax preparation software that is otherwise available through the Free File program. Therefore, Free Fillable Forms is generally only recommended for those who know how to independently prepare a tax return. 

 

Current as January 1, 2020

Browse through the Free File member list below to find a company that meets your specific tax situation. Alternatively, you can use the IRS's Free File Program Lookup Tool to quickly find a qualifying Free File offer.

Remember, you are responsible for determining your eligibility for one of the Free File online offers.

*UPDATE* On December 30, 2019, the IRS announced a revised agreement with Free File, Inc. (also known as the Free File Alliance) designed to make the Free File Program more taxpayer-friendly while strengthening consumer protections in several key areas. Read the IRS's official press release here.