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Filing taxes can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the advent of online tax filing, you can now file your taxes from the comfort of your own home. In this article, we’ll discuss the various options available for filing taxes online for free, including the IRS’s Direct File pilot program, Free File, and free fillable forms.

Direct File

The IRS’s Direct File pilot program allows taxpayers in certain states to file their taxes online for free directly to the IRS. The program is currently available to residents of Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

To be eligible for Direct File, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a resident of one of the participating states.
  • You must have a simple tax return.
  • You cannot have gig economy or business income.
  • You cannot itemize your deductions.
  • You cannot claim credits like the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Saver’s Credit.

If you meet these criteria, you can file your taxes online for free using Direct File. The program is easy to use and provides a checklist to help you review your progress. At the end, you will receive a summary of your taxes.

Free File

The IRS’s Free File program offers free access to tax preparation software from several private companies. To be eligible for Free File, you must have an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less.

To use Free File, you must go to the IRS’s website and select one of the participating tax preparation software providers. Once you have selected a provider, you will be able to access their software for free.

Free File is designed to guide taxpayers through their return, and some partners allow users to also file their state tax return. The service is available in English and Spanish.

Free Fillable Forms

If you exceed the income limit for Free File, you can use the free fillable forms offered by the IRS to file your return online. These computerized forms allow users to enter all of their information for their return, but there is no software to guide them through the process.

Paid Tax Preparers

If you can’t or prefer not to use Direct File, Free File, or the IRS’s free fillable forms, you can use a tax preparer. However, most tax preparation services are not free.

Benefits of Filing Electronically

There are several benefits to filing your taxes online, including:

  • It’s free if you qualify for Direct or Free File.
  • You can receive any refund faster if you e-file and choose direct deposit.
  • You can avoid the hassle of mailing your tax return.


Filing taxes online can be a convenient and easy way to get your taxes done. With the various options available, there’s sure to be a way for you to file your taxes online for free.