You might have noticed the many e-file websites that offer "free" tax-filing options, but somehow seem to add fees or consistently try to trick you into clicking the upgrade button while you plow through your taxes.
IRS takes matters into their own hands with its Free File program that provides free federal tax preparation and e-file through brand-name software or websites. If your income was less than $58,000 in 2013, you are free to use it. IRS provides customer service through their online or telephone assistance setup or via telephone with the tax software company that you choose. The IRS also proves an "Interactive Tax Assistance" that covers most tax questions a person would have to waylay any unnecessary questions.
Understandably, the IRS is very secure with the proceedings. They protect your information just as thoroughly as they do theirs, so it may be the way to go. Unlike some online private tax websites, the IRS has a policy to never allow the use of permanent Internet cookies, and the programs in the Free File Alliance have been ordered to comply with the strict IRS privacy standards in accordance with Treasury regulations.
The IRS is not providing information from past tax years, so you'll have to have that on hand along with the usual things such as your income and deduction documents. If you were sent a six-digit Identity Protection PIN from the IRS, make sure you also have that.
It may be a safe thing to say that this could be the best choice for your e-filing purposes. It is likely to be the most secure avenue, as there are no schemes to scrape money from you reminiscent of some private tax filing software and there is probably a good chance that you will receive your money faster, too. You have until April 15th to use it; if you have already, let us know if its a good choice.
Warning: Be on the lookout for callers claiming to be a part of the IRS looking for tax information. They are scammers.
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