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IRS opens Free File, key forms will be ready, but no news on start dateBy: NATP Research
January 13, 2021

The IRS has not yet announced a start date for the 2021 filing season, however, IRS Free File will open mid-January when participating providers begin accepting returns. The IRS assures key forms needed to file returns will also be ready mid-January.

IRS Free File is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many tax preparation and filing software industry leaders who provide their brand-name products for free. Taxpayers are provided two ways to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free. If income is $72,000 and below, free federal tax filing on an IRS partner site is available; income above $72,000 are eligible for free electronic self-filed forms.

This tool is only available for current-year returns. You cannot process a prior year return using IRS Free File. Taxpayers looking to file past returns should use a registered tax preparer in their area.

To use Free File, you need:

  • A copy of last year’s tax return to access your adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, spouse and any dependents, if applicable

Income and receipts

  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment compensation
  • All receipts pertaining to your small business, if applicable
  • Income receipts from rental, real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporation, trusts

Other income

  • W-2s showing your annual wages from all of your employers
  • Form 1099-INT showing interest paid to you throughout the year
  • Form 1099-G showing any refund, credit or offset of state and local taxes
  • Forms 1099-DIV and 1099-R showing dividends and distributions from retirement and other plans paid to you during the year

ACA filers

  • Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
  • Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit

Identity will be verified using 2019 AGI or a 2019 personal identification number (PIN). If you don’t have your AGI or PIN, taxpayers can use the IRS Get Transcript self-help tools to get a tax return transcript showing your AGI. There are two options:

  • Online: Select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry. Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools provides you with the information you need to make the request.
  • By mail: Please allow 5 to 10 days for delivery. Use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.

A valid email address is needed to get notifications that the IRS accepted a return.

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