Q&A about the IRS free file program

Should I use Free File Software or Free File Fillable Forms?  Use Free File Software if your income is $60,000 or less and Free File Fillable Forms if your income is greater than $60,000. 

IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of industry-leading private-sector tax preparation companies that have agreed to provide free commercial online tax preparation and electronic filing

We do not endorse any individual Free File Alliance company or retain any taxpayer information entered on the Free File site.

Are these programs safe? Yes. Your information is protected from any unauthorized access while it is sent to the IRS. The companies may not disclose or use tax return information for purposes other than tax return preparation without your informed and voluntary consent. These companies are also subject to the Federal Trade Commission Privacy and Safeguards Rules and IRS e-file regulations.

What information will the IRS collect or retain about me using Free File? None. Our policy prohibits the use of permanent Internet cookies. We sometimes use "temporary" or "session" cookies to make sure you are the correct recipient of information you requested. These are deleted when your Internet visit ends.

What can I do if I am not able to get into a Free File company from the IRS.gov website? This problem may be due to your Internet service provider, your Internet security software and/or your IT department blocking expected information in the web request from your browser. This information is necessary to protect both you and IRS.gov systems from improper use such as phishing and other security threats. Unfortunately, due to the many differences between Internet browsers and individual computer configurations, we are unable to suggest Internet settings or configurations for you. Try selecting another company; use another computer or another browser.

How do I check the status of my refund?  Get up-to-date refund information using Where's My Refund?  Go to http://www.irs.gov/Refunds

How do I get a copy of my return? Always remember to print your return after you successfully e-file. If you forget to print your return, order a free transcript from IRS. Depending on the type of transcript you request, you'll get more or less of the information from your return.  

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript

What is Direct Pay? Use Direct Pay to pay your individual tax bill or estimated tax payment directly from your checking or savings account at no cost to you. Go to http://www.irs.gov/Payments/Direct-Pay

What happens if I access the Value Added button on the company's Free File landing page? You will exit the IRS Free File Program and if you continue, you may be charged fees for various services.

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