The 2011 IRS Free File tax preparation service is ready to kick off the tax season this weekend. Taxpayers can find tools for filing their taxes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can use Free File to both prepare and e-file a tax return at their convenience. “Best of all,” the IRS website says, “when you e-file and select direct deposit, you can get your refund in as few as 10 days.”
The IRS Free File tax preparation service has an option for everyone, the IRS indicates, regardless of income. Those with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less in 2010 can find brand-name tax software by going to the IRS website. Those with a higher income can find Free File Fillable Forms for their use, also at the IRS website.
The IRS Free File program can be a fast, simple option for first-time tax filers, the IRS advises: “Software guides you through the process; helps find tax breaks; and e-files your federal return – all for free.”
Some filers are wary of e-filing, but the IRS says that it is a “highly secure way to transmit your federal tax return,” and advises tax payers that the process “uses the latest encryption standards to safely and securely protect your personal data.” E-filing is the most popular way to file, the IRS indicates, and more than 30 million taxpayers have previously used the IRS Free File program. E-filers will receive an electronic receipt of their filing, and taxpayers can still print a hardcopy of their federal tax return for their own records.
To make filing as simple as possible, the IRS suggests taxpayers gather all of their W2 and 1099 forms before starting on a return, as well as records they may have kept for any deductions they would like to include.
The 2011 IRS Free File program for filing 2010 tax returns is scheduled to be available to taxpayers this Friday, Jan. 14; detailed information is available online at the official IRS Free File website.