Income Tax Filing For Seniors and Retirees

If you are a senior or a retiree, do you know that you can file your income taxes for free using Free File online, including the ability to use direct deposit for refunds?  This is available from various tax software companies, free of charge, and is accessible through the IRS website – irs.gov.   

Using electronic filing enables refunds to be issued faster and avoids the delay of paper-filing.  Last year, with the shutdown of the IRS and backlog of the USPS, many returns were delayed in processing or even delivery.  Some paper filers may still be awaiting refunds. 

So, what are the factors to determine if you qualify for Free File? 

While each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards, the usual factors include age, income and state residence.  If your adjusted gross income is less than $72,000, you have the ability to use Free File.

Most forms are available using Free File. Even if you have a more complex return, as long as you meet the eligibility standards, you most likely will be able to complete your return. 

Using this resource may help you claim credits and deductions you otherwise may not have claimed. 

Free File enables many state returns to be prepared and filed, although some state returns may have a fee for filing.

Returns can be prepared using a computer, tablet or a smartphone.  All you need is online access to irs.gov.

Some of the software is available in Spanish as the IRS expands resources in various languages.

The Department of Defense has online software available to certain veterans called MilTax.  Happy preparing!

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Kay Sowa

About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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