Signs are pointing to this being the first year that around half of Americans file their taxes online, in part due to the success of the IRS Free File program. This program is the result of a 2001 initiative which aimed to improve electronic communication between government agencies and and other agencies, as well as businesses and citizens; one result which was explicitly mandated by the program was that the IRS had to come up with a way of providing free electronic tax preparation and filing to at least 60% of of individual taxpayers. Last year, about 3.5 million taxpayers used the program to prepare and file their returns; this year, the entry of heavyweights Intuit and H&R Block into Free File can only make that number skyrocket. Some of the Free File vendors have restrictions on who can use their services (principally based on total income or what state you reside in), but others — like Intuit’s TurboTax Free — are open to all comers.

Given that most people have pretty uncomplicated taxes, I would have to imagine that there will be a slew of people who flock to Free File this year. I’d be interested in people’s experience with the web-based preparation applications!


Thank you for these links. I just filed, and learned that I will be receiving a $983 return!

• Posted by: Cior on Jan 19, 2005, 7:11 PM
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