How to electronically file taxes for free, get free assistance

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that earn up to $72,000 a year that there are free electronic filing services.
Tax Season Begins
Posted at 1:53 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 16:57:46-05

If you think you need to pay for tax preparation services, there is a good chance it is not necessary. The IRS released tips on Tuesday for tax payers to save money on tax preparation and assistance.

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that earn up to $72,000 a year that there are free electronic filing services. The IRS says that it can process nine out of 10 refunds via direct deposit within 21 days.

Taxpayers who earn more than $72,000 a year can still take advantage of the IRS’ electronic forms, but would have to fill by paper.

There are also free filing options for active duty and some veterans available through MilTax.

Those who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their taxes can get free tax advice through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program also offers free tax help to taxpayers, particularly those age 60 and older, the IRS said.

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The two services combined have 70,000 volunteers who serve 2.5 million taxpayers annually.

The IRS said that volunteers are trained to help taxpayers claim the tax credits they are entitled to such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents.

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The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia for everyone except taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to file.