The Internal Revenue Service reported a record increase in the use of Free File products for entering and filing federal income taxes and reminded taxpayers that they should go through IRS.gov to ensure they get the free offers they are due.
As of April 10, the IRS has received 2.9 million tax returns through the Free File program since January. That is a 28% increase compared to the 2.3 million received during the same time last year and already more than the 2.8 million received during all of 2019, according to an IRS news release.
“The IRS worked with the Free File Alliance to make improvements to the program this year, and this record increase is an encouraging sign,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in the news release. “We will work to continue improving this program. With the tax deadline extended to July 15, we remind eligible taxpayers who haven’t filed to look into the Free File options. Free File online products offer free federal tax return preparation, free electronic filing and free direct deposit of refunds to help get your money faster.”
In addition to Free File remaining available through the new July 15 tax deadline, the IRS reminds taxpayers that two Free File products are also available in Spanish.
Economic Impact Payments: Special option available for those who don’t normally file
The Free File Alliance also helped provide people who don’t normally file a tax return, and don’t plan to for 2019, an easy way to register for Economic Impact Payment. This special tool, available only on IRS.gov, can be found at Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.
The IRS, in partnership with Free File Inc., has provided this streamlined entry that people can quickly and easily complete using their direct deposit information and filing electronically with the IRS. This easy-to-use product adheres to the same security protocols as all other tax software products.
Special Note for People Required to File a Tax Return for 2019
People who haven’t filed a tax return yet and are required to or plan to file a Form 1040 for 2019, should not use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here option. Using this option could slow processing of their tax return and their Economic Impact Payment. People required to file for 2019 can use other Free File options or file as they normally do, the news release added.
Those eligible for an Economic Impact Payment include U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:
- Have a valid Social Security number,
- Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
- Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.
Some Free File partners also are providing a free option for individuals who are not required to file a tax return but who are eligible for the payment. As a reminder, always go to IRS.gov to seek out these Free File options.
Taxpayers who have not yet filed a tax return for 2019 will still receive an Economic Impact Payment based on their 2018 tax return, if they filed one. The IRS already has started dispersing those payments to those with direct deposit information. Taxpayers can use the new Get My Payment tool on our website to check the status of their payment.
Here’s How Free File works:
Taxpayers whose income was $69,000 or less last year are eligible for the free software. There also is Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. It has no income limitations. Free File options are available at IRS.gov/freefile.
- Go to IRS.gov/freefile to see all Free File options.
- Browse each of the offers or use a “look up” tool to help you find the right product. Each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards generally based on income, age and state residency. But if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less, they will find at least one free product to use.
- Select a provider and follow the links to their web page to begin a tax return.
- Taxpayers should complete and e-File a tax return only when they have all the income and deduction records they need. The fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. For those who owe, use direct pay or electronic options.
Please note: Because of COVID-19, the IRS is not processing paper tax returns at this time. Electronic filing options remain available. To receive a refund electronically, use the electronic filing option for Free File and use direct deposit.
Beware of Scams
Scammers are using the Economic Impact Payment and fake fillable forms sites to try to trick individuals into providing sensitive information such as banking accounts. Please beware of fake emails, texts and telephone calls about this payment. Don’t fall for the fakes – always go to IRS.gov for the official information.