The following is a news release from the IRS:
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today offered a tax tip to college students and first-time filers: use IRS Free File to prepare and file their federal tax return. This and other suggestions can help new tax filers avoid the April 15 rush and maybe even get any refund due within 10 days.
Filing a federal return may seem like a daunting task for a first-time filer but it is made much easier with tax software such as Free File, a service offered by the IRS and private-sector partners that allows everyone to prepare and electronically file their federal tax return for free.
New taxpayers can check out Free File at www.irs.gov/freefile where they can review about 20 software options. Each participating tax preparation software company sets its own eligibility but anyone making $57,000 or less can find at least one option. The software follows an easy-to-use format that asks questions and completes the appropriate tax form based on answers.
An online tool, Help Me Find a Free File Company, will help identify those companies that match the taxpayer's criteria. Want to know more? There's a new how-to video available at www.freefile.irs.gov. Also, each Free File software company has links to the 20 states that offer their versions of Free File.
There are two formats to federal Free File: Traditional Free File, which is the step-by-step software offered by participating companies, and Free File Fillable Forms, which is the electronic version of IRS paper forms that do simple math. There is no income limitation for Free File Fillable Forms but it is the best option for people comfortable doing their own tax return. Either format is free and allows for free electronic filing.
Have more questions? Visit www.irs.gov and check out 1040 Central, a one-stop stop for your tax needs. The IRS Web site has answers to frequently asked questions, tax tips and you can even track your refund. And remember, you must go through IRS.gov to be eligible for Free File offerings.
One last suggestion: Don't wait until April 15. There is no need to cram or panic. You should just take your time, use Free File and do it right. Help is available if you need it.
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