Free File
Did you know you may be eligible for free online tax preparation and filing? At least 60 percent of American taxpayers are eligible for the Internet-based Free File service, which allows them to prepare and file their taxes online for free. The Free File service began in January 2003, and was used by 2.8 million Americans last year. Free File is offered through an agreement between the Internal Revenue Service and the Free File Alliance, LLC, a private sector consortium of tax software companies. Free File is an online tax preparation and electronic filing program designed to provide taxpayers with an easy, fast, and secure way to file their taxes. Taxpayers who use Free File generally will receive their refund in half the time of taxpayers who file paper returns.

Eligible taxpayers will be able to prepare and file their Federal income tax returns using software provided by the Free File Alliance members - not the IRS. Each Free File Alliance member sets its own eligibility requirements, so requirements will differ from company to company. Generally, eligibility will be based on factors such as age, adjusted gross income, state residency, military status, or eligibility to file a Form 1040EZ or for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This agreement requires the Alliance, as a whole, to provide free services to at least 60 percent of, or approximately 78 million, U.S. taxpayers who file an individual tax return.

For more information on the Free File service, or to find out if you are eligible for Free File services through an alliance company, visit the Free File homepage: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html.

If you qualify for the Free File service, you may also be eligible for other assistance programs, such as Maternal and Child Health Services, School Breakfast and Lunch Programs or the Food Stamp Program. Use the GovBenefits.gov screening tool to find out if you may be eligible for these or other benefit programs.

As tax preparation season gets into full swing, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting some of the programs available for tax assistance.

Armed Forces Tax Benefits
The program offers tax credit or relief for special tax situations of active members of the U.S. Armed Forces. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=935

Tax Counseling for the Elderly
To provide free income tax information and return preparation assistance to elderly taxpayers. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=722

Taxpayer Service
The purpose of the program is to assure that taxpayers, organizations of taxpayers, and organizations which serve taxpayers, receive the most current information on the tax obligations and rights established by the Federal tax system. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=779