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Use Free File at IRS.gov to File Your Federal Taxes or Get an Extension

Washington, D.C. — April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The April 15 tax deadline is fast approaching, but this is no time to panic. It’s easy to do your federal taxes – and for free – by using Free File at IRS.gov.

Can’t meet the deadline? No problem. Simply use Free File to file an extension (Form 4868) and then come back to Free File any time before October 15 to prepare and file your return, again, all for free. Remember: this is an extension to file; not to pay, so if you owe taxes pay your best guess before April 15.

Free File offers brand-name tax software to people who earned $57,000 or less last year, which is 70 percent of all taxpayers. For those who earned more, there is Free File Fillable Forms – the electronic version of IRS paper forms.

Both options allow people to file returns electronically and use direct deposit, which is the fastest way to a refund. Below are three simple steps to getting started with Free File:

Step 1: Go to Free File through the IRS website: www.IRS.gov/freefile.

Step 2: The “Help Me Choose A Company” option guides you to select the brand-name software that’s right for you. Free File Fillable Forms perform basic math calculations and are for people who are comfortable preparing their own paper tax returns.

Step 3: Prepare and e-file your return for free. All participating Free File partners have been vetted and use the latest in security technology.

More than 36 million people have used the 10-year-old program. You can explore your options at www.irs.gov/freefile.

Also, being prepared can help reduce the stress of the approaching April 15 deadline. The IRS recommends gathering all your records before you start your return. Here are a few items needed to file your return: