Because of the increase of electronic filing options and the ease of usability, and reduced costs, the IRS will no longer send tax packages containing forms, schedules, and filing instructions to individual and business taxpayers through snail mail. Last year, only 8 percent of taxpayers received paper packages. 96 million individual tax returns were filed online.
This past October, the IRS sent postcards in the mail to the 20 million taxpayers who filed paper forms explaining where the tax forms are online and how to file them. The forms and instructions are downloadable from IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also get the forms and instructions by visiting a local IRS office, a participating library, or a participating post office. The IRS will make the forms and instructions available in these forms early this month, January 2011.
Taxpayers have many free options. The most popular means of filing tax returns is to get the information online at IRS.gov or to visit your local IRS office, a participating library, or a participating post office. Another online resource is IRS Free File, an electronic filing option which provides access to free brand-name tax software or access to online forms which you can fill out plus free electronic filing. Anyone can use Free File. Taxpayers who make $58,000 or less are able to use one of about 20 free commercial software programs. For the Free File Fillable Forms and the online version of IRS papers forms, there is no income limit.
Taxpayers who make $49,000 or less can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax preparation and often free online filing. For taxpayers who are 60 years of age or older, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program also offers free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation.