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Even though the 2020 tax filing season officially begins on Jan. 27, most taxpayers can get an early start on their federal tax returns as IRS Free File is available now.

 “Taxpayers who had an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less for 2019 can do their taxes now, and the Free File provider will submit the return for processing once the filing season starts on Jan. 27,” said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman.

 Since its 2003 debut, Free File has served nearly 57 million taxpayers, saving an estimated $1.7 billion calculated using a conservative $30 tax preparation fee. Free File is a public-private partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and Free File Inc. (FFI), a consortium of tax software providers who make their Free File products available at IRS.gov/FreeFile.

 Free File providers also offer state tax return preparation, some for free and some for a fee. With Free File, you can even use any digital device, personal computer, tablet or smart phone. Free File products are mobile enabled so you can do your taxes on your smart phone or tablet and e-File with your hand-held device.

 The IRS also offers Free File Fillable Forms, which is the electronic version of IRS paper forms to any taxpayer regardless of income. That product will be available when IRS opens the tax filing season on Jan. 27. Free File Fillable Forms is best for taxpayers who are comfortable doing their own taxes with little assistance. Free File online products will be available from January through October for extension filers. Taxpayers who cannot meet the April 15 deadline, also can use Free File to file extensions regardless of their income.

 Sanford said taxpayers wanting more personal help can visit one of thousands of community volunteer sites through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program or Tax Counseling for the Elderly offered by AARP. Trained volunteers will prepare returns for free for taxpayers who generally made $56,000 or less.

 Persons using mobile phones or tablets to do their taxes can either go directly to IRS.gov/FreeFile or they can use the IRS2Go app and select “Free Tax Help” to find information on Free File and the VITA locator tool.

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