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IRS extends its Free File tax program for five more years

The IRS Free File program will be around for another five years. The agency has announced that it’s extending the program through October 2029, allowing people to file their taxes with one of the IRS’s partners for free.

The Free File program got more attention recently after the IRS changed its rules in 2020 to prevent tax preppers from hiding their free services. Both TurboTax and H&R Block left the Free File program after that, and TurboTax owner Intuit paid out $141 million in restitution because it had “cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services,” according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.

IRS Free File has been around for more than 20 years now. For 2023, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less could get access to online guided tax software through Free File, while those with over $79,000 can use the IRS’s Free File Fillable Forms.

This year, the IRS is partnering with 1040Now, Drake (1040.com), ezTaxReturn.com, FileYourTaxes.com, On-Line Taxes, TaxAct, TaxHawk (FreeTaxUSA), and TaxSlayer to offer free preparation.

The IRS says it received around 2.9 million tax returns through Free File in 2024, as opposed to the 2.7 million it received at the same time last year. Alongside Free File, the IRS started testing its Direct File service this tax season. The program lets you file your taxes for free directly through the IRS, but it’s only available in 13 states for now.

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