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Free File Tops 50 Million Users; Saves Taxpayers $1.5 Billion Since Inception

IR-2017-68, March 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that Free File – the pioneering public-private partnership that makes free tax software available to 70 percent of taxpayers – recently surpassed 50 million users since the program started.

Since 2003, the 50 million taxpayers who used this free tax service saved approximately $1.5 billion based on a conservative estimate of $30 per tax software product.

Taxpayers who earned $64,000 or less can choose from among a dozen, brand-name software products offered by leading private-sector companies for free. Taxpayers who made more than $64,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of Internal Revenue Service paper forms.

Free File is available exclusively at /freefile. Several products offer both free federal and free state return preparation. Each software provider sets its own eligibility standards but anyone who made $64,000 or less will find at least one product to use. Taxpayers can easily find their match by using the Free File Software Lookup Tool.

“Reaching 50 million users and achieving $1.5 billion in taxpayer savings mark important milestones for the Free File initiative,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The Free File effort shows how the public and private sectors can work together to provide a critical service to the nation’s taxpayers. After 14 years, this innovative program continues to break new ground as it evolves to meet people’s needs.”

This year, Free File web pages have been optimized for smart phone and tablet use. This means taxpayers can use their phones or their tablets to prepare and file their taxes just as they can with their computers.  And, IRS2Go, the mobile app available for download, provides an easy means for taxpayers to access Free File and file their returns. Also for this year, active duty military personnel who earn $64,000 or less can choose any of the dozen Free File products regardless of the providers’ eligibility standards.

All taxpayers who want to file an extension can use Free File to submit Form 4868. Just look for the “request an extension” link at the top of the Free File main page.  This is a six-month extension to file a tax return, not to pay. If additional tax is owed, it must be paid by April 18.

Remember: always save a copy of any federal tax return and supporting documents. Keep it in a safe and secure location or encrypted if stored digitally.

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