IRS reminds consumers of Free File option for federal taxes - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

IRS reminds consumers of Free File option

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ATLANTA (WTOC) -

The Internal Revenue Service announced Friday that Free File software is now available for most taxpayers.

Free File is only available at IRS.gov/freefile and for federal tax returns. The 14 commercial software companies that offer Free File at no cost made it available Friday. 

Free File companies will hold tax filings until Jan. 31 when the IRS starts accepting returns. Free File allows users to use the brand-name software or online forms. The software is available to those who earn $58,000 or less.

The IRS had delayed the filing season due to critical system testing after the federal government shutdown.

"In Georgia, we expect 3.8 million returns to be filed electronically, in which 70 percent of Georgia tax filers are eligible to use Free File", said IRS Spokesman Mark Green, in a statement. 

Free File is just one of several tax preparation services available through IRS.gov. Other services include Where's My Refund, which allows people to check the status of their refunds, and tax tips.

Starting Jan. 31, Free File Fillable Forms will be available to accept tax returns for free e-filing from any taxpayer who is comfortable preparing their own tax return.

Nearly 40 million taxpayers have used Free File since it debuted in 2003. These taxpayers have saved more than an estimated $1.2 billion by using Free File.

Here's how it works:

  • To review each of the 14 company offers or use the IRS "Help Me Find Free File Software" tool to find an offer that best matches your situation. Taxpayers are then directed to that provider's website.
  • Those whose income is more than $58,000, can still do taxes and e-file them. Just select the "Free File Fillable Forms" button. This option is available starting Jan. 31.
  • Free File Fillable Forms is the electronic version of the IRS paper forms, and it is best for people who are used to doing their own taxes, according to the IRS. There is no state tax return prep available with this option.

The IRS says that the fastest way to get a refund is to use e-file and direct deposit. Refunds can be issued in less than 21 days.

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