What you need to know to file your taxes for free

The filing deadline is Tuesday, April 18
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 3:23 PM EST
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InvestigateTV - While 70% of Americans qualify to file their federal income taxes for free, just 3.1% did so in 2021, according to a new report from NerdWallet.

NerdWallet Data Analyst Elizabeth Renter said that translates to more than one hundred million Americans, many of whom were likely unaware of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Free File service, paying to file their taxes when they didn’t have to.

Some also may have trouble accessing the program, Renter said, as Google searches for free tax filing may lead to a software providers website instead of the IRS.

“The difference between that and some software providers is while they may have a free version of their software, you’ll be offered upgrades along the way,” Renter explained. “You may be convinced that you need audit protection. You may be convinced you need to pay more for help on it. The Free File Alliance software will not do that.”

To qualify for Free File, your adjusted gross income must be less than $73,000. The IRS changes income qualifications every year.

Here’s how to access the Free File service:

  • Go to IRS.gov/freefile
  • Click on “Use Free Guided Tax Preparation”
  • The site will guide you through choosing a provider

The process will point you to a provider that is a part of the Free File Alliance, which ensures you will not pay to file your taxes as long as you qualify.