The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises that U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the United States can use IRS Free File to prepare and file their federal tax returns electronically.
IRS Tax Tip 2017-01, January 24, 2017
Join the millions of Americans who safely file their taxes and save money using IRS Free File. Taxpayers can use either name-brand software or fillable forms – for free. Combining IRS Free File with direct deposit is the quickest and safest way to get a refund.
Here are some tips about IRS Free File:
- Get Started at IRS.gov.IRS Free File is available only through IRS.gov. Simply choose a Free File company and then click on that link to prepare and e-file the return.
- Find Tax Breaks.The tax software’s question-and-answer format helps eligible taxpayers find tax breaks. This could include tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software then selects the appropriate tax forms and does the calculations automatically.
- Free for All.Taxpayers with income of $64,000 or less can use brand-name software. Taxpayers who earned more can use Free File Fillable Forms. This option allows taxpayers to complete IRS forms electronically. It is best for those who are used to doing their own taxes.
- Easy Online Extensions.For those who cannot finish their return by the April 18 deadline, it’s easy to use Free File to request a six-month extension. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. If taxpayers owe federal taxes, they should estimate the amount they owe and pay it with the extension request. This will help avoid penalties and interest.
The IRS partners with leading tax software companies, the Free File Alliance, to make the program available. Some companies offer free state tax return filing as well.
All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.