The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that their Free File program will remain available through Friday’s filing deadline for those who still need to file their 2020 tax returns.
Free File is the IRS’ tax preparation software program that allows taxpayers below a certain income threshold to file their taxes at no cost. The IRS has partnered with private companies that provide the service via the government agency for free to those whose adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less.
Those who qualify will be able to select one of the partner programs for a free file and preparation in partnership with the IRS.
For those taxpayers that make above the $72,000 threshold, the IRS still provides the Free File Fillable Forms option. This provides electronic federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. When using this option, taxpayers should generally already know how to prepare their own tax returns.
To use these options, start at the IRS.gov website here.
Starting from the homepage, select “File Your Taxes For Free.” Then, pick an option based on your income level and simply follow the links to the chosen provider’s website. It might look at first as though you are being redirected to another site that will make you have to pay, but note that this is an IRS-approved partner if and only if your starting point is the designated irs.gov website to begin with.
The IRS has been fraught with fraud during the coronavirus pandemic. Taxpayers throughout the country have been hit in droves with stimulus check fraud, some not receiving them at all with fraudsters re-directing stimulus payments to their own addresses. Much of this swindling originates via e-mail or website, whereby a very similar-looking email name or website name will lure a victim onto their platform and then, successfully, request personal information. To help keep your personal information safe, check the website and/or email address before you send private data.
Friday’s deadline is for taxpayers who requested the six-month extension. This is the final deadline for those individuals and tax returns should be filed on or before Oct. 15.
The IRS also noted that prior year returns can only be filed electronically by registered tax preparers for the two previous tax periods. Otherwise, taxpayers must print, sign and mail prior year returns.
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Filing Your Taxes by Friday? Find Out How The IRS Lets You Do It For Free