IRS Free File has been around for years, but millions of Americans still don't know about it. In fact, the Department of Treasury estimates up to 14 million Americans paid to file when they were eligible for the free program.
Major companies like TurboTax and H&R Block partnered with the IRS in 2003 to provide the Free File system. To qualify for the program, taxpayers must earn $69,000 or less a year.
In a recent report, the IRS says a big reason people don't use the service, is because it is hard to find, partly because some companies hid Free File services from online search results.
The Treasury report found "five [companies] had coding that prevented Internet search engines from displaying the web page in search results."
So how can taxpayers find this free software?
- Go to IRS.gov's Free File page here
- Find the program that works for you and follow the links
"Go from our site to the software site," said IRS Spokesperson Raphael Tulino. "You have every right to use it to get that free federal tax return."
Since the report was released, the IRS is working to make the program easier and more accessible for taxpayers.
"We’ve worked to make it more visible and available to taxpayers so they know its free," said Tulino. "Be sure you’re going and getting free file based on that agreement and not one of the products they want to sell you."
If you want some in-person help, there are free resources you can use as well. The IRS has dozens of locations around the county where volunteers are waiting to help.