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IRS Free File now opens; offers federal and state tax prep

WASHINGTON — Most taxpayers can get an early start on their federal tax returns. IRS Free File — featuring brand-name online tax providers — opened Friday, Jan. 10 for the 2020 tax filing season.

Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less in 2019 — covering most people — can do their taxes now, and the Free File provider will submit the return once the IRS officially opens the 2020 tax filing season on Jan. 27 and starts processing tax returns.

Here’s how Free File works:

  1. Go to IRS.gov/FreeFile to see all Free File options.
  2. Browse each of the offers or use a “look up” tool to help you find the right tax preparation product.
  3. Select a provider and follow the links to their web page to begin a tax return.
  4. Complete and e-File a tax return only if you have all the income and deduction records you need.

The fastest way to get a refund, the IRS says, is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. If you owe, use direct pay or electronic options.

Most companies provide a special offer for active-duty military personnel who earned $69,000 or less. Those taxpayers can choose from any participating Free File provider regardless of the company’s other eligibility standards. Free File also can be a valuable tool for younger taxpayers or first-time filers with modest incomes as well as retirees and working families seeking to save money.

Free File providers also offer state tax return preparation, some for free and some for a fee.

Free File can be used on any digital device, personal computer, tablet or smartphone. Free File products are mobile-enabled so you can do your taxes on your smartphone or tablet and e-File with your hand-held device.

CLICK HERE for more information, including IRS protections.

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