Free File is free online income tax software from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in partnership with TurboTax, H&R Block At Home and 12 other online tax software providers. Free File is available to 70 percent of people who need to file income taxes in the U.S. If you earned $60,000 or less in 2014, you are eligible to choose from one of the free online tax software products offered through the Free File program. If your income was higher, you can use the IRS Free File Fillable Forms option.
How does Free File tax software work?
The Free File tax software asks questions to guide you through your income tax return and does calculations for you. This makes completing your taxes easier, faster and more accurate than using paper tax forms. Income taxes are filed electronically, or e-filed, which is the filing method preferred by the IRS.
Free File Fillable Forms can be used by anyone to file income taxes, regardless of income level. Fillable Forms doesn’t ask questions to guide you through your tax return. Instead, you fill out IRS tax forms online and the math calculations are done automatically. Your tax return is then e-filed at no cost.
If you are owed a tax refund, it will be deposited directly to your bank account much sooner than you would receive a paper check. You will be able to track your refund using IRS Where’s My Refund. If you owe an income tax payment, you can schedule that payment for any day up to the April 15, 2015 filing deadline. If you need to file for a six-month extension on your taxes, you can do so and return to Free File to complete your taxes anytime through October 15, 2015.
Help for health care reporting
New to Free File this year is help with health care reporting, which is now required by the Affordable Care Act. Most tax filers will simply have to check off a box to report health coverage for the year while others will need to report health care coverage or claim an exemption for each month in 2014. Even if you don’t need to file a return for income reporting in 2015 you still need to file an income tax return to comply with Affordable Care Act reporting requirements.
“You don’t have to be an expert on taxes or the new health care law. Free File software can help walk you through the rules and help you get it right,” said John A. Koskinen, IRS Commissioner. “For 12 years, this partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance has helped taxpayers save both money and time. The real winner in this partnership has been the nation’s taxpayers.”
Tips for using Free File for tax year 2014
1. Gather tax documentation needed to complete your tax return before you get started:
- Receipts to back up tax deductions.
- Your savings or checking account number if you want to receive a tax refund via direct deposit (more secure and faster than a mailed refund check).
- A copy of last year’s tax return.
- Social Security numbers for yourself, spouse and children.
- All income statements, such as W-2 or 1099 forms from employers and companies that hired you as a contractor.
- Interest and dividend statements from banks and brokerages (1099 forms).
- If you received a state refund in 2014, you need Form 1099-G.
- Unemployment compensation amount, if any.
- If you purchased coverage from a Health Insurance Marketplace, you need Form 1095-A.
- Proof of health care insurance coverage for you, and for a spouse and children on your return.
2. Go to IRS.gov/freefile and use the Help Me tool to select the best free tax software for your income tax preparation.
3. Once you choose tax software, click on “Leave IRS site” and follow the instructions given from there to complete and file your tax return.
4. Some of the IRS Free File tax software providers offer a free state return, but not all do. If you need to file a state return, be be on the look out for possible fees for using the software or for state e-filing.