IRS offers free software to file taxes by smartphone or tablet

Photo by VidorHsu / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

PHOENIX — The Internal Revenue Service has announced that taxpayers may now use their smart phones or tablets to electronically prepare and file their federal and state tax returns through IRS Free File.

The IRS and its private-sector partners who offer their brand-name software products for free now support a new design that allows for the use of desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Access the products using mobile devices in two ways: (1) Use the IRS app, IRS2Go, which has a link to the Free File Software Lookup Tool or (2) Use the device’s browser to go to www.IRS.gov/freefile and select the “Free File Software Lookup Tool” or “Start Free File Now” to find a software product. The IRS2Go app is available for Android and iOS devices.

Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $64,000 or less will find one or more free software options. Each of the 12 software providers set the eligibility requirements for their product, generally based on age, income or state residency. The Free File Software Lookup Tool leads the user through a few questions to determine eligibility.

Some partners offer free federal and free state tax return preparation; some charge a fee for state return preparation. Active duty military personnel whose income was $64,000 or less are exempt from any eligibility requirements and may use any Free File product they choose to file their federal return for free.

The Free File software allows for free electronic tax preparation and filing and direct deposit of refunds. Some taxpayers may need their 2015 adjusted gross income, if they filed a return, to validate their identities and complete the electronic filing process.

Also, taxpayers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit are reminded that, by law, the IRS must hold refunds that contain those credits until Feb. 15. The refunds likely won’t arrive into taxpayers’ financial accounts until the week of Feb. 27.

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