The Internal Revenue Service says that Free File remains available through Oct. 15 for those taxpayers who still need to file their 2020 tax returns.
Free File is the IRS’ public-private partnership with tax preparation software industry leaders to provide their brand-name products for free, according to a news release.
Free File provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free:
- Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner sites. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) is $72,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers.
- For taxpayers whose income (AGI) is greater than $72,000, there’s the Free File Fillable Forms option. It provides electronic federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. To use this option taxpayers should know how to prepare their own tax return.
Always Start at IRS.gov:
- From the homepage select File Your Taxes for Free
- Pick an option based on income
- Follow links to the chosen Free File provider’s website
Taxpayers who requested the six-month filing extension should complete their tax returns and file on or before the Oct. 15 deadline, the news release added.
Only current year tax returns can be filed using IRS Free File. The IRS does not allow electronic filing for prior year returns through self-preparation websites.
Prior year returns can only be filed electronically by registered tax preparers for the two previous tax years. Otherwise, taxpayers must print, sign and mail prior year returns, the news release said.
The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications lists qualified local preparers.
More IRS Tips
Taxpayers interacting with the IRS have the right to finality. This right comes into play for taxpayers who are going through an audit. These taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished the audit. This is one of ten basic rights — known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Here’s what taxpayers in the process of an audit, should know about their right to finality, according to a news release:
- Taxpayers have the right to know:
- The maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position.
- The maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt.
- When the IRS has finished an audit.
- The IRS generally has three years from the date taxpayers file their returns to assess any additional tax for that tax year.
- There are some limited exceptions to the three-year rule, including when taxpayers fail to file returns for specific years or file false or fraudulent returns. In these cases, the IRS has an unlimited amount of time to assess tax for that tax year.
- The IRS generally has 10 years from the assessment date to collect unpaid taxes. This 10-year period cannot be extended, except for taxpayers who enter into installment agreements or the IRS obtains court judgments.
- There are circumstances when the 10-year collection period may be suspended. This can happen when the IRS cannot collect money due to the taxpayer’s bankruptcy or there’s an ongoing collection due process proceeding involving the taxpayer.
- A statutory notice of deficiency is a letter proposing additional tax the taxpayer owes. This notice must include the deadline for filing a petition with the tax court to challenge the amount proposed.
- Generally, a taxpayer will only be subject to one audit per tax year. However, the IRS may reopen an audit for a previous tax year, if the IRS finds it necessary. This could happen, for example, if a taxpayer files a fraudulent return.