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Optima Tax Relief Updates Taxpayers on IRS Free File Program

by Anamta bnn
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reported a significant uptick in the usage of its Free File program, with filings showing a notable increase compared to the previous tax season. This surge in early adoption underscores the program’s popularity among taxpayers seeking cost-effective and accessible options for filing their taxes. Optima Tax Relief reviews the IRS announcement and its implications. 

Background 

The IRS Free File program is a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and various tax software companies that offers free tax preparation and electronic filing services to eligible taxpayers. The program aims to provide accessible and cost-effective options for taxpayers to fulfill their tax obligations without incurring additional expenses. The Free File program is available to taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) below a certain threshold. In 2023, this amount is $79,000 or less. Individuals whose AGI exceeds $79,000 have the option to utilize the IRS’s Free File Fillable Forms. This service is most suitable for individuals who feel confident in navigating IRS form instructions and publications while completing their tax returns independently. 

Participating Software Providers 

The IRS partners with reputable tax software companies to offer free online tax preparation and filing services through the Free File program. These participating providers offer a range of software options to accommodate different tax situations and preferences. In 2024, the following companies have partnered with the IRS: 

  • 1040Now  
  • Drake (1040.com)  
  • ezTaxReturn.com  
  • FileYourTaxes.com  
  • On-Line Taxes  
  • TaxAct  
  • TaxHawk (FreeTaxUSA)  
  • TaxSlayer

Increase in Filings 

The IRS has reported a nearly 10% increase in filings through the Free File program compared to the previous tax season. As of February 24, 2024, about 943,000 taxpayers filed their tax returns using the IRS Free File program. This early surge in usage indicates a growing preference among taxpayers for online filing options, particularly those seeking affordability and convenience. 

Benefits of IRS Free File 

There are many benefits to using IRS Free File. The most obvious is that eligible taxpayers can access free tax preparation software. The Free File program allows taxpayers to electronically file their tax returns, which can result in faster processing and quicker receipt of refunds compared to traditional paper filing methods. E-filing also reduces the likelihood of errors and minimizes the risk of processing delays. Participating tax software providers offer user-friendly interfaces and guided prompts to simplify the tax filing process for users. The IRS places a high priority on security and privacy in the Free File program. Participating software providers adhere to strict security standards to protect taxpayers’ personal and financial information, ensuring confidentiality and safeguarding against identity theft or fraud.  

Conclusion 

Overall, the IRS Free File program provides eligible taxpayers with a valuable resource for accessing free tax preparation and electronic filing services. By offering a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional tax preparation methods, the program promotes tax compliance and ensures equitable access to tax filing resources for taxpayers across income levels.