Many people turn to online tax preparation software to help them organize their taxes and assist with filing their taxes electronically. As of the 2009 tax filing season, the IRS has created a service called Free File, which partners with the Free File Alliance group (a group of private sector software companies) to allow tax payers to quickly and easily file federal taxes online, for free.
Individual tax filers who want to take advantage of Free File to file their taxes online must first access the IRS website.
Once you're on the main Free File page, click on the I Will Find a Company link at the bottom of the page. This will bring you to an IRS.gov Free File page listing all the software companies providing electronic tax filing. Read each description to see if you meet eligibility requirements for using their free service. Click on your chosen tax preparation company's website link. This will send you to the company's site, where you'll find instructions on filing your taxes electronically using their web-based software.
If you're having trouble deciding which company to use, you may click on an interactive help tool found on the main Free File page labeled Guide Me To A Company. This tool will help narrow down the companies offering electronic tax preparation by asking you a series of questions to determine the service best suited for you. You may find that you are not eligible for a certain company's Free File service and you may be subject to a fee. If this happens, you can either return to the IRS Free File home page to select another company where you may be able to file taxes online for free, or you can continue preparing your taxes on your chosen site but take note of the fee displayed by the company.
Once you're at a company's website, follow their instructions and their software will prepare and e-file your income tax for you.
If you find that you are not eligible for any free electronic tax preparation software, you can still file taxes electronically for free using the IRS Free File Fillable Forms. The Fillable Forms are self-selected and only allow you to perform basic mathematical calculations on the form. If you are comfortable with the tax code, you can complete these forms online and still be able to file your taxes electronically, free of charge.