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Free Tax Filing Options in 2023: IRS Free File and More

IRS Free File, Voluntary Income Tax Assistance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, MilTax, and other free tax preparation software are some free tax filing options available to the taxpayer. Read on to know more about these.

free tax filing
Most taxpayers are eligible for tax credit if they have an income below a certain level, and the IRS estimates that 70% are eligible.

In this article

The cost of tax preparation is high, but you can find free tax preparation if you know where to look. There are many ways to get free tax filing, like the IRS Free File program.

The following are five free ways to file your taxes.

IRS Free File

A nonprofit organization called the Free File Alliance and the IRS formed a partnership called IRS Free File. With IRS Free File, you can prepare your taxes using guidance software from several major tax-preparation companies, including TaxAct and TaxSlayer. In addition to English, some Free File products are available in Spanish. January 13 is the first day that taxpayers will be able to access Free File options on the IRS website.

Eligibility Criteria

Most taxpayers are eligible for tax credit if they have an income below a certain level, and the IRS estimates that 70% are eligible. It is required that taxpayers had an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less in 2022 in order to qualify for IRS Free File in 2023.

The IRS Free File program also provides access to free fillable IRS forms that you can submit electronically at no additional charge if your income exceeds the limit. There is not much tax guidance provided by this option.

How it works

Using the IRS’s Free File Online Lookup Tool will help taxpayers find the right provider for their requirements. Your eligibility for certain credits will be determined based on your filing status, age, home address, income, and age. In addition, you can browse through all the Free Files manually.

Don’t forget to read the fine print when signing up for Free File offers, as not all include free state returns. It should be noted, however, that several states also offer Free File programs, which are patterned after the federal program. Thus, you may be able to get free tax preparation for your state return as well. 

Where to get Free File

Free File participants may advertise themselves on their websites, but the only way to be certain you’re using the Free File service is to contact the IRS directly.

Software for tax preparation that is free, directly from the provider

For people with really simple tax situations, most major tax software companies offer free tax preparation software. There may be differences between these packages and those offered via IRS Free File.

Who is eligible

It will vary from provider to provider how “simple tax return” is defined. It typically works for people who have only one job and don’t itemize their taxes, and have only one income source.

How it works

Almost all free packages include Form 1040 and may be able to assist you in claiming credits, such as the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit.

These free packages usually include state tax returns, although some software providers tend to charge more as the tax-filing deadline approaches.

Where to get it

Including TurboTax and H&R Block, our tax software roundup compares free online tax software.

VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance)

Free tax preparation for people with low and moderate incomes, the disabled, the elderly, and individuals who speak limited English is made possible by this federal grant program.

Eligibility Criteria

Free tax help is generally available to those with incomes up to $60,000.

How it works

Volunteers certified by the IRS will prepare your taxes for free. Depending on your tax situation, this might not be a good option for you. Volunteers will not prepare Schedule Cs with losses (sorry freelancers), Schedule Ds (sorry investors), or forms related to nondeductible IRA contributions or worker status determinations (whether you are technically an employee or independent contractor).

Where to get it

VITA sites across the country are listed on the IRS website.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

Community organizations can apply for federal grants to provide free tax preparation, which focus on pension- and retirement-related tax issues.

The eligibility criteria

It was originally designed to help people 60 and older with their taxes, and it still prioritizes this demographic, but there is no minimum age requirement for participation. Tax preparation is done by trained volunteers.

How it works

A community organization or nonprofit provides free tax preparation using grant money, similar to VITA. Tax-Aide is the program operated by the AARP Foundation that operates most TCE sites.

Where to get it

The IRS website lists TCE sites.

Free tax filing via MilTax

This is a Department of Defense program that provides free tax software from H&R Block, as well as financial and legal resources and other help to military members and their families.

How it works

In addition to free tax software, trained MilTax consultants can give free tax help by phone and via live chat. MilTax participates in the VITA program, which means you also can get face-to-face free tax help on base or nearby.

Where to get it

Head to Militaryonesource.mil to get the software, find helpline numbers and hours of operation and see if a nearby installation has a VITA site.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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