Know Your Protections Under the IRS Free File Program


Know Your Protections Under the IRS Free File Program:

  • Get a free federal tax return - As long as you qualify for the Free File  federal return offer, you must not be charged for preparation and e-filing of a federal tax return.
  • Be protected from unnecessary fees - Other than state tax preparation fees and a possible fee if you choose to continue with tax preparation when you don’t qualify for the federal return offer, you must not be offered or solicited marketing, promotional rebates, or any other form of selling activity on the Free File company’s website.   Any state preparation or non-qualifying fees must be disclosed on the  company’s Free File landing page.
  • Be guided in your choices - If you find you don’t qualify for a specific company’s Free File offer after visiting their Free File website, you may return to the Free File website to seek another Free File online offer. Each Free File company will provide you information when you don’t qualify, with the option to select a link to bring you back to Free File site to select another company.
  • Get help if you need it - If you need help when you are on the company’s Free File website and doing your taxes, you may refer to the company’s free customer service options.
  • Be reminded of Free File - If you used Free File last year, you should receive an email from the same company product that you used, welcoming you back to Free File.  The email should include a link to the company’s Free File online program and explain how to file with the program.
  • Be protected from bank product fees - As part of Free File, you must not be offered any bank products such as Refund Anticipation Loans or Refund Anticipation Checks.
  • Get help finding a free option for you - IRS offers a Free File online Look-up tool to help you find an offer that best meets your needs. 
  • Get important information on possible charges for state returns - Many Free File online products offer free state tax preparation. Some charge a state fee.  Be sure to read each company’s information carefully.

If your question is regarding the Free File Fillable Forms Program, please visit the User’s Guide PDF.