How You Can File Federal Taxes for Free Through the IRS

The 2022 tax season is approaching its filing deadline – extended this year from April 15 to April 18. As the clock ticks closer, the usual time-limited anxiety to submit the proper paperwork to the IRS comes with it. For those with a tighter budget or time constraints, the tax agency offers a portal for filers to electronically prepare and file the federal personal income tax return – free of charge.

the IRS Free File offers multiple avenues for U.S. taxpayers to submit their tax documents for free online using Guided Tax Preparation either at a IRS partner site or filling out online forms for themselves. (Both options are for federal taxes only, though some partners may also offer free or paid state filing options.) The service can only be used to prepare current year’s taxes, as only registered tax preparers can file for the previous two tax years.

IRS Free File is a nonprofit, public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliancea coalition of tax preparation and filing companies, to provide free federal tax preparation in two ways.

Guided tax preparation for incomes of $73,000 and under

Individuals who qualify for guided tax preparation must have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less. (AGI is defined as gross income less adjustments to income, according to the IRS). This option connects taxpayers to companies belonging to the Free File Alliance to prepare and file federal taxes online at no cost to eligible taxpayers.

Using the free fillable form for income over $73,000

taxpayers whose adjusted gross income exceeds $73,000 can use fillable forms online through the IRS website. These include federal tax forms like 1040 used for filing personal income tax. Qualified taxpayers can complete these forms themselves using the form instructions and IRS self-help guides available at website.

How to start

After determining the correct income bracket, taxpayers can choose the IRS Free File or Free Fillable Forms option.

Taxpayers with an AGI of $73,000 or less can begin the filing process at the website. Going directly to an affiliate’s website will discredit a user from the free file option. Filers should only use IRS-verified businesses that are directly linked to the website. A redirect link will take the registrant to a partner website for account creation. The IRS Free File offer can be viewed in more detail on the IRS website.

Incomes over $73,000 can use the Free fillable forms option, which requires taxpayers to complete and file the forms themselves. There are no tips for preparing tax returns and only limited calculations are provided. Users are recommended to familiarize themselves with IRS forms, instructions, and publications.

Documents needed to prepare and file taxes

The following documents are required to file annual federal taxes using the free programs, according to the website.

Personal information

  • A copy of last year’s tax return in order to access AGI
  • Valid social security numbers, including yourself, your spouse, and any dependents, if applicable
  • Revenues and receipts
  • Social security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • All small business receipts, if applicable
  • Income receipts from rental, real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporation and trusts

Other income Documentation

  • W-2s showing the annual salaries of all employers
  • Form 1099-INT showing interest paid throughout the year
  • Form 1099-G showing any state and local tax refunds, credits, or offsets
  • 1099-DIV forms and 1099-R showing dividends and pension and other plan distributions paid during the year

Those filing with the Affordable Care Act will also need:

Instructions for electronic filing

  • When self-preparing and filing their returns electronically, filers must sign and validate your electronic tax return.
  • Verify identity using last year’s AGI or last year’s self-selected signing personal identification number (PIN).
  • Have a valid email address so the IRS can verify that they received the filing.

Securing personal data online

The IRS notes that individual information is protected when sent to the IRS or its partner companies, none of which is authorized to disclose or use tax filing information for any purpose other than the filing of tax returns. income. All entities are also subject to the confidentiality and safeguard rules of the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the electronic records regulations of the IRS.

Questions about the IRS Free Files Program can be sent to [email protected] Users are also encouraged to consult the User’s Guide. If more time is needed, qualified registrants can also request a filing extension, pushing the deadline to October 17, 2022.


About the Free File Alliance | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022.

Definition of Adjusted Gross Income | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022.

Free file: Do your federal taxes for free | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022.

Forms to fill out for free | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022.

IRS Free File | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022.

Understanding the Credentials and Qualifications of Tax Preparers | Internal revenue service. Accessed April 6, 2022.