Software cos. and IRS partner for free filing

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Good news for taxpayers making $57,000 or less during 2009: Your tax preparation is on the house once again.

The Free File Alliance, a coalition of leading tax software companies, partnered with the Internal Revenue Service, and wants qualifying taxpayers to take advantage of the IRS Free File program.

All taxpayers with an adjusted gross 2009 income of $57,000 or less can visit www.IRS.gov to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost.

The program walks taxpayers through every step of the filing process to make it fast, easy and secure. An added bonus: Those who take advantage of the service can also expect refunds in as little as 10 days.

“Americans struggling in the current economic climate should not stress about filing their federal tax returns because the IRS Free File program gives all taxpayers making $57,000 or less free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance.

By clicking on the “Free File” icon or link, users will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies from which to choose. They will then be transferred to the company’s Web site to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns, just as they would on paper. Three of the 19 participating software companies now offer services in Spanish.

More than 25 million returns have been filed through the Free File program over the past seven years.

For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.