Get ready for tax season! Preparing will be a little easier knowing you can file for free thanks to a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance LLC, a group of private sector tax software companies. The site does not go live for 2010 until Jan. 15, so this is really just a heads up.
Here’s how it worked for 2008 taxes filed last April. I expect the free filing options to be very similar for 2009 taxes.
Option No. 1. You can file your federal returns for free using the traditional Free File, which offers step-by-step help, if your adjusted gross income is $56,000 or less (this number could vary slightly for 2009). The software puts your answers directly into the forms and does the math for you. You can get a refund as quick as 10 days if you opt for direct deposit. This service is available in Spanish.
Option No. 2. You can fill in your own tax forms without the help of software using the Free Fillable Forms. This hands-off approach lets you prepare and e-file your 1040, 1040 A and 1040EZ federal returns. There are no income limits, as with Option No. 1. State forms are not included.
Both of these options make it possible to file your federal tax forms for free. State forms are not included, however. Does anybody know a way to file state taxes for free?