Have you ever tried filing your taxes yourself? If not, today may be a good day to try it. The IRS made it easy by partnering with 8 companies that provide free online tax filing software! The IRS also provides free fillable forms that can be submitted directly on the IRS website to make it easy if you don’t want to use any of the online companies.

Who is eligible to file their taxes for free online?

For 2022 the IRS states that anyone with and AGI {Adjusted gross Income} of $73,000 or less is eligible for free tax filing. However, each tax software company has its own set of criteria. If you need to file a state tax return as well, check with your chosen company’s criteria before getting started. You can find a list from the IRS here.

Why should I file my taxes myself? 

It could save you time and money. There’s no need to make an appointment or drive to a tax office. Often, inputting your information and filing your taxes online can be done in as little as 30 minutes. Meanwhile, tax preparation offices often charge $75 or more. Sometimes hundreds of dollars.

Can I file my state taxes online for free? 

Five of the eight companies that partner with the IRS for free federal tax returns also provide free state tax filing as well. This is available in some states and is an option for people who also qualify for a free federal tax return. If you need to file a state tax return, check with the individual tax software company to determine if they provide free tax filing for your state.

How to get started filing your taxes for free online

Here are the steps provided by the IRS for how to file your taxes for free:

  1. Begin your filing option with the IRS by visiting https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile Please note that going directly to any of the eight partner companies’ websites will result in not receiving the free filing.
  2. Choose an IRS ‘free file’ option, guided tax preparation, or ‘free file fillable form.’
  3. You will then be directed to the IRS partner’s website to create a new account. If you are a previous user on that website, you can log in to your existing account.
  4. Prepare your federal tax return and then file it online (e-file).

What if the free tax software asks me to pay? 

The tax software may ask you if you want to upgrade your tax service for a fee. However, if you meet the company’s stated criteria, you are not required to upgrade. If you don’t meet the criteria, you will either need to try a different software, pay the required fee, or find a different method to file your taxes. Be sure to look closely to make sure upgrade is wanted or required before agreeing to it.

You don’t have to pay to get started

While free tax filling is available for lower-income individuals, if you’re not sure that you meet the free filing criteria you can still get started for free. You will not be required to pay for the service to see if you qualify. As you go through the filing process, the tax software will notify you if you are not eligible to file for free.

How to file electronically: 

Direct from the IRS Free File website, here is the proper method for filing your taxes electronically:

  • When self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you must sign and validate your electronic tax return. To verify your identity, use last year’s AGI or last year’s self-select signature personal identification number (PIN). To sign your electronic tax return, use a 5 digit self-select PIN, any five numbers (except all zeros) that you choose that will which serve as your electronic signature.

What you will need 

Here is everything most people need to file their taxes online. This list includes the same information a tax preparer would need to file your taxes.

Personal Information You Need

  • A copy of last year's tax return in order to access your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any dependent(s), if applicable
  • A valid email address. You will need to provide this to the software company so they can notify you when your tax return is accepted by the IRS. This may take a couple of days and sometimes the return may not be accepted if there are any errors.

Income and Receipt

  • Your W-2s showing your total annual wages from all of your employers
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment compensation
  • All receipts for your small business, if applicable
  • Income receipts from rental, real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporation, and trusts

Other income

  • Form 1099-INT, showing interest paid to you throughout the year. You may have one or more of these from your bank(s) or credit union(s)
  • Form 1099-G, showing any refund, credit, or offset of state and local taxes
  • Forms 1099-DIV and 1099-R, showing dividends and distributions from retirement and other plans paid to you during the year. These would come from any investments you have.

Other documents

Something important to know

  • The IRS does not endorse any individual partner company. Neither does Elevate.com.

Filing your taxes online is free for most people and it may save you time too! Before you pack up and head to the tax office this year, take a look and see if you would be better off filing your taxes yourself. If you need more information, go directly to the source at https://www.irs.gov/individuals.