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IRS to ‘Strengthen’ Free File for US Taxpayers

A new agreement with Free File is aimed at offering US Taxpayers more clarity when filing

Published on January 8, 2020

The IRS has announced that it has signed an agreement with Free File Inc (FFI) for 2020 which will help US taxpayers to use free online software for the 2020 US tax filing season.

The news of the agreement was reported on December 30, 2019, by the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), the Federal Advocacy Committee dedicated to helping US taxpayers, in the US and overseas, to improve IRS customer service.

According to TAP, "Each year, Free File partners, acting through FFI, offer their software free to eligible taxpayers. Any taxpayer earning $69,000 or less can find one or more free commercial software products available by visiting IRS.gov/freefile. Some providers offer both free federal and free state tax preparation. Active duty military personnel with incomes of $69,000 or less may use a Free File software product of their choice without regard to other criteria."

Overseas citizens are eligible to use Free File, and the IRS offers a useful guide on their website to explain how best to use foreign details when signing up: https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-fillable-forms/free-file-fillable-forms-military-and-international-filers

Explaining the agreement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said "This updated agreement is part of a larger effort by the IRS to help taxpayers meet their tax obligations ... It continues to show the partnership we enjoy with the Free File partners and the commitment we both share in helping taxpayers since the program's creation 18 years ago. The improved process will make Free File stronger and give taxpayers another reason to consider this valuable software option."

Commissioner Rettig went on to confirm that "The IRS and FFI will also continue to work together to identify and explore ways to better help low- to moderate-income taxpayers and to pursue meaningful opportunities to enhance taxpayer awareness and use of the Free File Program beyond the 2020 filing season ... The IRS is committed to improving the Free File program and providing a great option for taxpayers to consider when preparing their taxes ... These steps will help further protect taxpayers and make important improvements to the program".

Although self filing can be a complicated process, Free File could be a useful option. For those who need further information or guidance from a US tax expert, check out our A-List Directory for firms with an expertise in assisting UK based US Taxpayers.

The Free File scheme re-opens for in January 2020 for the 2019 filing season. Go to IRS.gov/freefile for more information.

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