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Return Preparation and Filing Options

Everyone can e-file, and everyone can e-file Individual tax returns for free

Last year, nearly 100 million taxpayers opted for the safest, fastest and easiest way to submit their individual tax returns — IRS e-file. Since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed nearly 1 billion Form 1040 series tax returns safely and securely. E-file is the norm. And now, with Free File, everyone can file Form 1040 series tax returns for free!


Free File

e-file with Free File

If your income is $57,000 or less, let Free File brand-name software do the hard work for you with free tax preparation and free e-filing. It's available only through, where a number of tax software companies make their products available for free. Some also support state tax returns for free. Go to Free File to take advantage of this option.

e-file with Free File Fillable Forms

Regardless of income, everyone can use online Fillable Forms, which are an electronic version of the IRS paper forms. This option is best for people who are comfortable preparing their tax returns but want the advantages of fast, secure and free e-filing. Fillable forms do only basic math and do not support state tax returns.


e-file with commercial
tax software

Do it yourself. Buy tax preparation software either over-the-counter or online, prepare your own return and press send to e-file. Your return is sent through safe and secure channels, not via e-mail. Prices do vary, so shop around (or use Free File).

e-file through a paid
tax preparer

Find a tax professional you trust to prepare and e-file your return. Nearly all tax preparers use e-file now and many are now required by law to e-file. But it's still a good idea to tell your tax preparer you want the advantages of e-file — your refund in half the time, or if you owe, more payment options. Use our tax professional locator to find an e-file provider near you.


Attention Tax Return Preparers

Starting January 1, 2012, you must use IRS e-file if you or your firm files more than 10 individual or trust returns. You should begin the process immediately if you are not an authorized IRS e-file provider.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Jan-2013