Do you qualify for free tax filing programs?


The IRS has put together a list of resources to help consumers save money this tax season

With just over two months until the official tax filing deadline – Monday, April 15, 2024 – it’s time for taxpayers to make a plan to file their 2023 tax returns. 

For many consumers, that process might just come at no cost. 

The IRS explained that eligible taxpayers can take advantage of several resources designed to eliminate the cost associated with filing taxes – regardless of whether they choose to file on their own or use a tax preparer

Free programs

Here’s a look at some of the ways taxpayers can file free this season, including the eligibility requirements: 

  • IRS Free File: To utilize this program, taxpayers must have had an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less in 2023. This resource is one that consumers use on their own – tax preparers have made their programs available online for free, and taxpayers can even use their phones or tablets to file their taxes at no cost. 

  • IRS Direct File: This program is currently in its pilot phase, as it’s the IRS’ latest way to file taxes for free. With Direct File, taxpayers will follow a step-by-step guide to learn more about their taxes, and free support from the IRS is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Currently, the pilot is only available in a dozen states, and only consumers with simple tax returns are eligible. The IRS plans to expand this program based on the information learned from this tax season. More information on availability can be found here

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): This program is for taxpayers with disabilities, limited English-speaking taxpayers, and those who make under $60,000 per year. Typically, consumers can access this program at popular community centers, like malls, libraries, schools, and more. 

  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE): Seniors who utilize this service will meet with tax preparers who specialize in filing for older taxpayers. They’re trained to answer questions about pensions, retirement, and other related areas. 

  • MilTax: Military veterans are eligible for free tax filing through MilTax. Through the Department of Defense, vets can file their federal tax returns and up to three state returns at no cost. 

  • Free Fillable Forms: This free program is for taxpayers who make an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or higher. However, there is no formal assistance – taxpayers are responsible for choosing and accurately filling out the appropriate forms. This program is also only available for federal tax returns – not state returns, and taxpayers can’t make any changes to their returns once they’re submitted and processed. 

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