WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), today encouraged Marylanders to take advantage of free tax preparation and e-filing services available through the IRS Free File program. Since its inception in 2003, Free File has offered 70 percent of taxpayers free access to leading commercial tax preparation software. This year, every taxpayer with a 2012 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less may visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at absolutely no cost. This service is made possible through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies.
“This tax season, I encourage constituents to take advantage of free tax help available through the IRS Free File program,” said Senator Cardin. “Free File provides access to online tax software that helps you prepare and e-file you federal tax returns – at absolutely no cost. The service is available to everyone who made $57,000 or less last year. This is a valuable tool I hope people will use.”
To begin, taxpayers should visit the IRS website – www.IRS.gov/freefile. Users will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies and may either choose one that fits their needs or utilize the “Help Me Find a Company” tool. After selecting a tax software company, users will be transferred to the company’s website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. The service is also available in Spanish.
The Free File Alliance is also partnered with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) — a walk-in service for low-to-moderate income taxpayers — which offers Free File software on self-assist kiosks at VITA sites in 29 states. Through its partnership with VITA, the Free File Alliance will be able to provide e-filing services for taxpayers who do not have Internet access at home, as well as those who want to e-file, but need additional help.
Free File Alliance member companies have worked closely with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers have consistently reported the program as being user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.
The Free File Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of 15 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low- and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. More than 36 million returns have been filed through IRS Free File since its inception. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.