The Internal Revenue Service today reminded those who still need to file their 2021 tax returns that IRS Free File remains open until Nov. 17 and can help those who qualify claim the Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit.
These and other tax benefits were expanded under last year’s American Rescue Plan Act and other recent legislation. The only way to get these valuable benefits, however, is to file a 2021 tax return.
Last month, the Internal Revenue Service sent letters to more than 9 million individuals and families who appeared to qualify for a variety of key tax benefits but had not yet claimed them by filing a 2021 federal income tax return.
Many in this group may be eligible to claim some or all of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits, depending on their personal and family situation. The letter, printed in both English and Spanish, provided a brief overview of each of these credits.
Often, individuals and families can get these expanded tax benefits, even if they have little or no income from a job, business or other source. This means that many people who don’t normally need to file a tax return should do so this year, even if they haven’t been required to file in recent years.
There’s no penalty for a refund claimed on a tax return filed after the regular April 2022 tax deadline. The fastest and easiest way to get a refund is to file an accurate return electronically and choose direct deposit.
To help people claim these benefits without charge, IRS Free File will remain open this year, until Nov. 17, 2022. Available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile, IRS Free File lets people whose incomes are $73,000 or less to file a return online for free using brand-name software.
IRS Free File is sponsored by the Free File Alliance, a partnership between the IRS and the tax software industry, a public-private partnership that provides their brand-name products for free.
IRS Free File provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their 2021 federal income tax return online for free:
- IRS Partner Sites. Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner sites. Individual taxpayers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) is $73,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers. Free File lets individuals electronically prepare and file their federal income tax online using guided tax preparation.
- Free Fillable Forms. For taxpayers whose AGI is greater than $73,000, there’s the Free File Fillable Forms option. It provides electronic federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. To use this option, taxpayers should know how to prepare their own tax return.
Always start at IRS.gov:
- From the homepage, select File Your Taxes for Free.
- Use the IRS Free File Lookup Tool to narrow the list of providers or the Browse All Offers page to see a full list of providers.
- Follow the link to the chosen IRS Free File provider’s website.
Prior year returns can be filed electronically only by registered tax preparers for the two previous tax years. Otherwise, taxpayers must print, sign and mail prior year returns.
The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications lists qualified local preparers.