Tax Tip 2023-12: IRS Free File can help first time filers with their tax returns

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IRS Tax Tips February 1, 2023

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Issue Number: Tax Tip 2023-12


IRS Free File can help first time filers with their tax returns

Navigating the tax return preparation process can be intimidating if you’re filing for the first time. IRS Free File can help. This program provides free tax preparation, free electronic filing and free direct deposit for eligible taxpayers.

The IRS Free File income limit for tax year 2022 is $73,000 for families and individuals. Each provider sets their own eligibility requirements, based on age, state residency and income, and offers are available in both English and Spanish. Taxpayers can use IRS Free File Lookup Tool, to find the offer that is right for them.

To complete a tax return with IRS Free File, taxpayers will need the following information:

  • Their Social Security number. Taxpayers who don’t have or aren’t eligible for an SSN can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

  • Their wage and income information. This information is usually on forms from their employer, such as Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement and the Form 1099 series.

  • If they are being claimed as a dependent. They will need to know if another taxpayer, such as a parent, is claiming them on a separate tax return. Taxpayers who are being claimed by someone else as a dependent may still file their own tax return, but they can’t claim themselves as a dependent.

  • Documentation for all tax credits and deductions. With the increased standard deduction, itemized deductions may not be necessary. All credits and deductions are subject to IRS verification and review.

  • Their prior year adjusted gross income or self-select PIN. They need this information to validate and sign an electronic tax return. First time filers over the age of 16 can simply enter "0" as their prior-year income for signature purposes. Taxpayers who have filed before should use the adjusted gross income from their prior year tax return.

  • Bank account and routing number. Filers need this information for direct deposit of any refund into a taxpayer’s bank account. Direct deposit the fastest and safest way for them to get their money.

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