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Free File: Frequently Asked Questions

Find more information at www.freefile.irs.gov

What is Free File? 
Free File provides free federal tax prep and e-file for taxpayers, either through brand-name software or online fillable forms. This year, you have until April 15, 2014, to file and pay your taxes or request an extension.  

Who can use Free File?
You can, if your  Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) was $58,000 or less in 2013. You can use free brand-name software. You can find the company that’s best for you using the “Help Me Find Free File Software" tool. If your income was higher than $58,000, Free File Fillable Forms is available.

May I also file my state return for free?
Some participating Free File companies offer free state tax prep and e-file. Check the company's Free File home page to learn if free state income tax prep and e-file are available.

Note: AK, FL, NV, NH, SD, TN, TX, WA and WY do not have a state income tax return filing requirement for reporting W2 wage income. Two of these, NH and TN, require taxpayers to file returns for individual interest and dividend income.  

What forms and schedules can I  use to Free File?
Free File offers the most commonly filed forms/schedules. Review the list of most commonly filed forms. If a form/schedule is not listed, check the company's website for more information.

May I use Free File to e-file my prior year return? 
No. We are not set-up to accept prior year Free File returns electronically.    

How do I get a copy of my return? 
Always remember to print your return after you successfully e-file. If you forget to print your return, order a free
transcript from IRS. Depending on the type of transcript your request, you'll get more or less of the information from your return. 

Is customer support service available for Free File?
Yes. Access the Free File company's website to find customer support contact information. Browse the company’s website to find free customer service options such as online assistance, or an e-mail address for technical and/or tax law assistance. Direct specific questions about your individual tax return to the tax software company you are using. Contact the Free File company to resolve issues related to the company’s software. If you are not able to resolve your issue, try another Free File company’s software. 

Where do I enter the six-digit Identity Protection PIN?
If the IRS sent you a letter with an Identity Protection PIN, enter the six-digit PIN in the appropriate place in the Free File software you have selected. 

Where can I find answers to tax law questions? You can get answers to many questions on IRS.gov. Try the Interactive Tax Assistant, use Search in the upper right corner of IRS.gov, and check Tax Topics, Help and Resources and Individuals. If you still don’t find the answer to your question, call our toll-free tax assistance line at 1-800-829-1040 for individual tax questions or 1-800-829-4933 for business tax questions.

What can I do if I am not able to get into a Free File company from the IRS.gov website?
This problem may be due to your Internet service provider, your Internet security software and/or your IT department blocking expected information in the web request from your browser. This information is necessary to protect both you and IRS.gov systems from improper use such as phishing and other security threats. Unfortunately, due to the many differences between Internet browsers and individual computer configurations, we are unable to suggest Internet settings or configurations for you. Try selecting another company, use another computer or another browser. 

Does Free File use secure technologies?
Yes. We approve the Free File companies’ proprietary software. All Free File companies must get third-party privacy and security certificates. Taxpayers enter tax information in a secure session and the Free File companies transmit tax returns using secure technologies. In addition, the Free File tax software companies must comply with all federal rules governing e-filing and regulations covering taxpayer privacy. The companies may not disclose or use tax return information for purposes other than tax return preparation without the knowing, informed and voluntary consent of the taxpayer. These companies are also subject to the Federal Trade Commission Privacy and Safeguards Rules.

What information will the IRS collect or retain about me using Free File?
None. Our policy prohibits the use of permanent Internet cookies. We sometimes use “temporary” or “session” cookies to make sure you are the correct recipient of information you requested. These are deleted when your Internet visit ends.

Can a Free File company share my information with anybody besides the IRS?
No. As part of the agreement, the Free File Alliance companies must comply with our strict privacy standards. In accordance with Treasury regulations, the companies may not disclose your tax return information without your permission.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Jan-2014