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IRS Free File | What Is It? Tax Refund E-filing Software And Procedure



IRS Free File | What Is It? Tax Refund E-filing Software And Procedure

IRS Free File | What Is It? Tax Refund E-filing Software And Procedure. IRS Free File is a user-friendly software designed to facilitate the electronic filing of tax refunds. Individuals seeking to e-file their 2022 tax refunds can seamlessly utilize the Internal Revenue Service’s Free File tools, ensuring that their tax returns are processed efficiently. By filing electronically through these tools, individuals can expect to receive their tax refunds within three weeks at no cost. This comprehensive guide provides detailed insights into IRS Free File, its software options, and the e-filing procedure.

IRS Free File

Within the realm of IRS Free File, there exist two distinct tools: Guided Tax Preparation and Free File Fillable Forms. These tools cater to individuals with different Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGIs).

The first tool, Guided Tax Preparation, is available for individuals with an AGI of $73,000 or below, while the second tool, Free File Fillable Forms, is tailored for those with AGIs above $73,000. Both software solutions are officially provided by the IRS, allowing individuals to select the one that aligns with their specific requirements for e-filing tax refunds.

Understanding IRS Free File

It is essential to note that the IRS Free File software solutions, Guided Tax Preparation and Free File Fillable Forms, are not developed directly by the Internal Revenue Service. Instead, they are third-party platforms that have entered into a partnership with the IRS. While there are numerous other platforms available for filing tax refunds, it’s crucial to be aware that these alternatives typically come with associated fees.

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IRS Free File Software Options

1. Guided Tax Preparation

Guided Tax Preparation stands as one of the most widely used software solutions for e-filing tax returns. It is particularly popular among taxpayers with an AGI below $73,000. This software streamlines the e-filing process by autonomously guiding users through the necessary steps, eliminating the need for users to provide answers to questions during the e-filing procedure.


2. Free File Fillable Forms

Free File Fillable Forms is another free software option within IRS Free File, intended for e-filing tax returns. Like Guided Tax Preparation, this tool supports electronic filing; however, it caters to individuals with AGIs above the threshold for the first tool. It’s important to note that when using Free File Fillable Forms, individuals are responsible for completing all necessary tasks during the filing process.

If your AGI is below $73,000, it is advisable to opt for Guided Tax Preparation due to its user-friendly, automated approach to e-filing tax returns.

IRS Free File Required Credentials

To e-file tax returns using either of the two IRS Free File software solutions, individuals must possess the following essential credentials:

Basic Details

  • A copy of the previous year’s tax return.
  • Social Security Numbers for both the taxpayer and their spouse.

Income and Receipts

  • Documentation of any received Social Security benefits.
  • Receipts related to small businesses, even if they are self-issued.
  • Income receipts from rental properties, real estate, royalties, partnerships, corporations, or trusts.
  • Records of unemployment compensation, if applicable.

In addition to the aforementioned details, taxpayers must have information about other sources of income and provide contact information, including an email address, to receive notifications about the status of their tax return.

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How to E-File for Tax Return using IRS Free File

The tax season commenced on January 23, 2023, and the deadline for e-filing tax returns is April 18, 2023. Follow these step-by-step instructions to e-file your tax refund if your AGI falls below $73,000:

  • Visit the official website of the Internal Revenue Service at
  • Locate the “File Your Taxes for Free” option and click on it.
  • Look for the “Use Free Guided Tax Preparation” option and select it.
  • Within the IRS Free File Online Lookup Tool section, click on “Start lookup tool.”
  • Provide basic details, estimate your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), and determine your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) eligibility before proceeding to file your returns.
  • Ensure that you e-File your tax return before the deadline and select the “Direct Deposit” option for expedited tax refunds. Individuals who choose to e-file and opt for direct deposit can expect to receive their refunds within 21 days.


It is worth noting that you can check the status of your e-filed tax return using the IRS tool “Where’s My Refund?” 24 hours after filing.

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