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IRS Free File offers free tax prep options for military personnel

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds active duty military personnel that IRS Free File offers them multiple options for free federal tax preparation.

Free File is for individuals or families whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less last year. Free File is a private-public partnership between the IRS and the Free File Inc.

“The IRS takes special steps to help military members and their families with their taxes, and the Free File program is part of that effort,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Almost 10% of the IRS workforce are veterans. We greatly appreciate the service to the nation of every veteran and their supportive families, and we will do all we can to assist them.”

For active duty military and their spouses, Free File has a special offer. Individuals and their families who meet the income limitation may choose from any of nine companies without regard to additional eligibility requirements.

The nine special offers are from 1040Now, Inc., FileYourTaxes.com, Free tax Returns.com, H&R Block, On-Line Taxes, Inc., Tax ACT, TaxHawk, Inc., TaxSlayer (English and Spanish) and TurboTax. 

Active duty military stationed in combat zones also have more time to file their tax returns. However, those with spouses and families may opt to file as soon as they are able to claim various tax benefits for which they may be eligible. If only one spouse is present to file a joint return, they must have proper authorization to file a joint tax return on behalf of their spouse.

The IRS will begin processing tax returns on Jan. 27. With Free File, you can use any digital device, personal computer, tablet or smart phone. Free File products are mobile enabled so you can do your taxes on your smart phone or tablet and e-File with your hand-held device.

Here’s how Free File works:

  1. Go to IRS.gov/FreeFile to see all Free File options.
  2. Military personnel who meet the income requirement can select from any of the nine providers that have “Free for Active Military for Adjusted Gross Income of $69,000 or less” in their offer. Nine of the 10 partners are making the offer. One product is in Spanish.
  3. Select a provider and follow the links to their web page to begin your tax return.
  4. Complete and e-File your tax return only if you have all the income and deduction records you need. The fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. If you owe, use direct pay or electronic options.

Generally, each Free File partner sets additional eligibility requirements that civilian taxpayers must meet. Non-military personnel should use the “look up” tool at IRS.gov/FreeFile to find the best match.

Military members can get more information on their special tax benefits at IRS.gov/military.

Free File is available now through October to accommodate extension filers.

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