The Internal Revenue Service has announced the availability of Free File online tax software for tax year 2013. This program is a combined effort of the IRS and 14 retail tax software providers.
There are two parts to Free File. Free Fillable Forms is a slightly less convenient online tax filing application that is available to anyone, but it's not available until January 31, 2014. The Free File online software is offered by providers like TurboTax and H&R Block, and you can use it to complete your return right now and the IRS will hold the return and e-file it when it starts accepting returns on January 31. There's just one catch: there are income restrictions for using the program.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says, "There is absolutely no advantage to filing by paper. If you want to save money and time, just use Free File to prepare and e-file your federal return at no charge."
So why not let all tax payers use Free File software? I'm not sure what the answer is, but suspect that the retail tax software providers have something to do with it.
Learn more about Free File to find out if you qualify and where to go on the web to use it.