FYI: IRS Free File Marks Record Increase; Available Through October 15
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that Free File, the IRS-private sector partnership that offers free tax preparation products, scored a record percentage increase in new users as taxpayers turned to free name-brand providers in 2020.
IRS Free File online products marked a 50% increase this year as more than 4.1 million taxpayers used one of the free online partner products. Last year, more than 2.7 million taxpayers used Free File.
Free File remains available through October 15 for those taxpayers who still need to file their 2019 return.
“The IRS has worked with our partners to make important improvements to the Free File program this year, and we are encouraged by the strong increase in usage” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS remains committed to supporting and promoting this free service that benefits so many taxpayers.”
Additionally, 96% of the people who had no filing requirement and who registered for an Economic Impact Payment used an online tool supported by Free File Inc., the consortium representing the tax software providers who partner with the IRS.
Free File Inc. developed the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool that gave Americans with no filing requirement a free way to get their Economic Impact Payment. More than 7 million non-filers have registered for the payments so far, with more than 6.7 million Non-Filers using the Free File Inc. product. The Non-Filers tool, available on the IRS.gov homepage, remains available through November 21, following the announcement that the deadline for non-filers to register had been extended.
How Free File works
Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less in 2019 can choose from multiple online preparation products, in English and Spanish. Taxpayers whose income was higher can opt for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms.
Here's how taxpayers can use Free File:
- Go to gov/FreeFile
- Select “Choose an IRS Free File offer”
- Choose between “Browse All” and “Start Lookup Tool” to find the right product for you
- Follow links to the Free File providers tax product
In 2003, the IRS and the Free File Alliance, now Free File Inc., a consortium of tax software providers began offering free tax software and free electronic filing to taxpayers. There currently are 10 partners offering free products, including two products in Spanish.
IRS Free File is the main provider of free, electronic tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income Americans and, in aggregate, one of the top e-file providers within the tax industry.