HUTCHINSON, Kan. — It's time to start getting your paperwork together for your 2019 tax return.
"Especially if you go see a tax professional, they don't really want you to come in before you have all your documents, because then you'll have to come back," IRS spokesperson Michael Devine said. "They can't do it accurately. If you're doing it yourself using tax software, one of the things the IRS recommends is using Free File. Go to IRS.gov, click on the link to Free File."
You can file for free if your AGI was $69,000 or less and you were between the ages of 17 and 51 or you were active-duty military or you qualify for the Earned Income Credit. There are also simpler forms for older taxpayers, regardless of income.
"If you're a senior citizen, born before January 2, 1955, there's a new form that you can use, the 1040SR," Devine said. "It's designed specifically for senior citizens. It's much simpler than the 1040. You put your information in and you're done. It's really simple. If you don't want to worry about tax forms and all the tax changes, use E-file. Let the tax software do the work."
Even if English isn't your first language, you can still get help with your taxes, for free.
"There are ten companies that partnered with us this year," Devine said. "Two of them are offering help in Spanish. If English isn't your first language, doing it in Spanish might be a big help. You pick the company you want. Go to irs.gov. Click on the link to Free File and then there's actually a tool. It will help you figure out which one of the companies is the best fit for you."
Filing early can also help protect you against identity theft, because the IRS will accept the first return from your Social Security number, but kick back any subsequent returns. The IRS begins accepting returns next week.