The IRS Free File Tax System Is Available But Virtually No One Is Using It

February 11, 2020

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More than 14 million Americans with low and moderate incomes likely could have filed their federal taxes for free last year, but they paid for tax preparation instead, according to a new Treasury Department audit. These people may have missed their chance because the Internal Revenue Service’s Free File Program is “obscure and complex,” and it has gone too long without adequate IRS supervision or marketing money, the report said. Free File users need to access the program through the IRS’ website, but the government said many people might not know that. Fiscal year 2014 was the last time the IRS devoted any marketing money to promote the program. The Free File Program lets taxpayers file their taxes for free through 10 private tax preparation companies, including Turbo Tax from Intuit and H&R Block, as long as they make less than a certain amount. This year, $69,000 is the maximum adjusted gross income and this year. Too few taxpayers know they have to access the program through the IRS website and five unidentified companies participating in the program “prevented Internet search engines from displaying the web page in search results,” the government report said.

SOURCE: MarketWatch

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