What Are Free File Fillable Tax Forms?

Free File fillable tax forms are tax forms that the government of the United States makes digitally available to taxpayers. The IRS first released the Free File fillable fax forms in 2009 as a way of transitioning to a digital filing process. These electronic forms have since minimized the number of errors in income tax filing. More than 46 million people have used Free File fillable forms.

Key Takeaways

  • Free File fillable tax forms are tax forms that the government of the United States makes digitally available to taxpayers.
  • The IRS first released the Free File fillable fax forms in 2009 as a way of transitioning to a digital filing process.
  • Free File fillable tax forms allow taxpayers to file their taxes online at no cost if their income is $66,000 or less.

How Free File Fillable Tax Forms Work

Free File fillable tax forms are electronic versions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax forms. In order to qualify for Free File, taxpayers must have an income of $66,000 or less. The IRS also uses these tax forms to speed up the process of receiving income tax refunds. Taxpayers can access the Free File fillable tax forms on the IRS website. Once a taxpayer downloads the forms, they can fill them out by entering their data on their computer directly, without printing out the forms. From there, the taxpayer signs the form on the computer and then files the forms electronically with the IRS. Once completed, the return is sent to the IRS using the latest in encryption technology.

The Free File fillable tax forms are exact digital versions of the hard-copy forms individuals use to file their income tax returns. The IRS designed the digital forms for advanced users who already know which forms they require. Unlike many commercial tax preparation software packages that systematically check the taxpayer’s information to ensure that the taxpayer takes every deduction, the IRS Free File fillable forms do not provide any assistance in filing.

To file your taxes digitally using the Free File fillable tax forms, you will need certain information in advance. To properly fill the forms you need a copy of last year's tax return with last year’s adjusted gross income, your Social Security number, as well as your spouse’s and those of any dependents if you have any. You will also need access to documents concerning your yearly income, like your W-2, which states your annual wages, your receipts, and documentation of any Social Security benefits or Unemployment Compensation. If you have a small business or any income from rental, real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, or trusts you will need the official numbers and proper documentation.

In order to file using the Free File Fillable tax form, you will also need either your personal identification number and five-digit pin, or your previous year’s AGI, which is found on the tax return. If you can’t find this information, the IRS offers a tool online to retrieve your AGI.