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Free file is an online tax return preparation service offered through a cooperative effort by the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC, a group of companies from the tax payer software industry. It will be available on the IRS' Web site (www.IRS.gov) beginning in mid-January 2006. Taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less can use Free File services to prepare and file their 2005 IRS tax forms. Be sure to check with your local tax preparer - every state has specific age requirements for Free File. The software offered through Free File are essentially identical to the popular do-it-yourself tax programs such as TurboTax and TaxCut, but with some of the extra features stripped out. Each company participating in the Free File Alliance has its own eligibility criteria (aside from the income criteria), so make sure you read the fine print carefully. Free File, like other IRS tax programs, must be accessed directly through the IRS Web site rather than through individual participating company Web sites.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|