The IRS Free File Program Gets New Agreement

The Internal Revenue Service announced today an agreement with Free File, Inc. (FFI) designed to bring more clarity for taxpayers choosing to use free online software during the 2020 filing season.

The agreement reached will help make the Free File program more taxpayer-friendly while strengthening consumer protections in several key areas.

What is the Free File Program?

IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of industry-leading private-sector tax preparation companies that have agreed to provide free commercial online tax preparation and electronic filing.

Any taxpayer earning $69,000 or less can find one or more free commercial software products available by visiting IRS.gov/freefile. Some providers offer both free federal and free state tax preparation.

Active duty military personnel with incomes of $69,000 or less may use a Free File software product of their choice without regard to other criteria.

The program also offers Free File Fillable Forms, a fillable version of IRS’ printed forms best suited for taxpayers experienced in preparing returns by hand and who need limited assistance.

What changes were made to the Free File Program?

Among the features in the new agreement, FFI members:

  • Will not exclude their Free File Landing page from an organic internet search.
  • Will ensure a link on their sites is available to return taxpayers to the IRS Free File Website at
    the earliest feasible point in the preparation process if they do not qualify for the Member’s Free
    File offer, and
  • Will regularly survey taxpayers who successfully e-filed a tax return through the Free File
    program, reporting their results quarterly to the IRS.

How do you use the free file program?

If your adjusted gross income is below $69,999 you may qualify for the free filing program.

Free File Software provides free federal tax prep and e-file for taxpayers. Select a brand name software program, create an account and then the software guides you through return preparation.

The following companies offer free filing for taxpayers that qualify:

Turbo Tax (link)

H&R Block (link)

Jackson Hewitt (link)

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