Free File is a way for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal taxes online for free. The service is available to individuals with adjusted gross incomes below a certain level - $56,000 in 2008. Firms that offer the service are part of the Free File Alliance, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An easy way to find these free file fillable tax forms is to choose a company directly through the IRS Free File web page.

Select a company according to:

Once you have selected a company, you will be taken to the company's website so that you can start filling out the free tax return.

It is important to note that you will need to create a new account with the selected company. This will allow you to save your work as you go. After this step, you can start filling out your personal income information. Once this is complete, you may electronically file, or "e-file", the return. You will have the option of printing your return but usually only after filing. (Mastering these fundamentals now will take the stress out of tax season, learn more in Next Season, File Taxes On Your Own.)

Why Online?
By filing online, you could receive your return in as little as 10 days, compared to the approximate six to eight weeks for those who file traditional paper returns. In addition, it is generally faster to complete the forms the forms online. (You have the control to determine whether you owe in April. Learn more in How To Owe Nothing On Your Federal Tax Return.)

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