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What is INfreefile?
Free File was developed in 2003 through a cooperative effort between the IRS and tax preparation software vendors. Free File allows taxpayers with lower Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) to file their federal and state taxes for free using sophisticated interactive (Q&A style) applications. For 2011 tax returns, 22 states (now including Indiana) have adopted Free File. Millions of taxpayers qualify for this free service nationally.
What are the Benefits of using INfreefile?
- Get your refund faster – electronically filed returns are processed in a week to 10 days, whereas a paper filed return can take 4 to 12 weeks
- Proof of Receipt - receive confirmation that your return was received and accepted.
- Convenient – INfreefile is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Easy - All INfreefile options are user friendly, and include step by step instructions.
- More Accurate Processing - Returns filed electronically have fewer math errors because the software catches many mistakes.
- “One Stop Shop” – you can prepare and file your federal and Indiana tax returns at the same time
- Electronic Banking - INfreefile provides the added convenience of Direct Deposit for refunds and Direct Debit for payment of tax owed.
- Saves paper and postage - no need to mail paper returns or W-2 statements.
- Safe and secure - safer than mailing your tax return.
How do I use INfreefile?
Eligible taxpayers may prepare and file their federal and state income tax returns for free using commercial online software provided by four specific Free File vendors.
All online software is designed to navigate you through a series of questions asking only for the pertinent information that is needed based on the type of return you are filing. All INfreefile software will automatically check for completeness, correct errors, generate the applicable schedules and transmit the return from your computer to the IRS’s computer and to our computer.
I have already filed my Federal return (or don’t have to file a federal return), can I use INfreefile to file just my Indiana return?
If you have already filed your Federal return, you can file just your Indiana return for free with some vendors: TaxHawk and Turbo Tax will allow you to file just your state return, however since the state return is created from information on the federal return, you will need to complete a second Federal return on the site selected but DO NOT FILE THE FEDERAL RETURN. File the Indiana return as State Only.
H & R Block, TaxSlayer and OLT will not allow you to e-File just your state return. You must file both your federal and state return at the same time with their product in order to obtain the free file offering.
I qualify for INfreefile but the product I selected is trying to charge me?
If you have used any of products in previous years and have an existing account already established, you must create a new account when using their INfreefile links in order to get your federal and state return for free. Because you already have an established account, their software product is redirecting you to the product you last used.
Do I have to download software?
No. INfreefile software is accessed directly from the company website and your return is filed from that website. All websites are equipped with the latest encryption program to safeguard your information.
Is INfreefile Secure?
Yes! More than 2.2 million Indiana taxpayers filed their tax return electronically last year.
Electronic filing is actually more secure than mailing a tax return. An electronic return is encrypted and cannot be read as it is being transmitted from your computer.
The key to safety begins with you and your computer. Always make sure your computer is using current anti-virus software and anti-spyware software. You should also have a firewall to protect your computer while on the Internet.
When using an Internet Web site to transmit personal data, look for a “closed lock” icon on your screen, generally in the lower right-hand corner. That shows you have a secured/encrypted link. You should also see an “s” added to the end of the “http” in the address line. This means it is a secure/trusted site. If you don’t see these security indicators, don’t reveal your personal data.
All INfreefile vendors must adhere to the strict privacy standards of the IRS.
Why are electronically filed returns more accurate?
All e-File software checks for math errors and calculations, which reduces mistakes. It will also prompt you only for the applicable information that is needed based on the type of return you are filing. In addition, most software will remember you the following year, dramatically reducing the need to re-enter information.
How do I sign my return?
With INfreefile software, taxpayers sign their return using an electronic signature by creating an electronic personal identification number (PIN). Simple step-by-step instructions are provided in the software to help you set up a PIN. Please note your federal return will require you to enter a separate PIN from your state return.
Do I still need to send you my W-2 statements?
No. You will enter all of the pertinent information from your W-2s into whichever INfreefile software you decide to use. Once you’ve provided the information electronically you retain all paper copies of your W-2s with your tax records.
How do I pay if I owe tax?
INfreefile software allows you to pay your tax due through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) debit. Simply by identifying your bank account information and the date you want to make the payment, your tax can be paid electronically. With more and more people conducting on-line shopping and on-line banking, EFT debit is becoming a prevalent way to pay for things.
However, if you do not want to pay electronically you may use INfreefile to file your return and mail a paper check for your payment. Be sure to include the payment voucher with your check and write your SSN on the check so we can track your payment correctly.
Who is eligible for INfreefile?
Each participating software company sets its own eligibility requirements and not all taxpayers will qualify for all companies. Generally the eligibility criteria are based on one or more of the following: the taxpayer’s Federal adjusted gross income, their age, active military status and whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Carefully review the INfreefile offer criteria before selecting the company.
With INfreefile you will need to file your federal and state tax return together at the same time.
Please be careful though, the IRS has more vendors that offer free Federal e-File than Indiana has that offer free federal and free state filing. If you start at the IRS.gov website be sure you select one of the INfreefile vendors or you may find that while your federal return is free you may end up being charged a fee for your state return.
How do I get started?
Review our list of INfreefile vendors and their specific eligibility criteria. If you go directly to the IRS website to access a Free File vendor, you may select one that DOES NOT support free filing of the Indiana return. Please select a product from our INfreefile page to assure yourself the opportunity to file both your federal and Indiana returns.
Determine if you qualify for INfreefile and select your vendor. After choosing a company, click on the company’s name or logo, which will send you directly to that company’s website (the vendor site will open in a new browser window).
You will start the process by preparing your federal return first followed by your Indiana return.
If you determine after you start preparing your tax return with a particular company that you are not eligible for that company’s Free File service and you may be subject to a fee, you have the following options:
- Return back to our site and review the list of INfreefile vendors again and select another company that you may qualify for or
- Continue completing your return and pay the vendor’s filing fee.
Is there a charge to use INfreefile to electronically file my return?
Depending on your eligibility, with INfreefile there is no charge to file both your federal and state tax return. You must select from one of the INfreefile vendors that support Indiana.
If you do not qualify for INfreefile, you may still use the vendor application but you will be charged a nominal fee to actually file your return.
If I'm filing jointly, with my spouse, does the Adjusted Gross Income limitation apply to both me and my spouse separately or combined?
If you are filing using the Married Filing Jointly filing status, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) criteria applies to the AGI for both of you combined.
If I bought tax preparation software at the store, may I use Free File to file it for free?
No. Store bought programs cannot be used in conjunction with the INfreefile program. Online returns must be prepared and filed through the specific website provided by the vendor on the INfreefile website.
Where do I go for help if I have questions with the INfreefile software?
All vendors provide help. Check the company’s website for customer service options such as online assistance, or an e-mail address for technical and/or tax law assistance.
What may I do if I have trouble accessing an e-File vendor’s website?
This problem may be due to your Internet Service Provider, your Internet Security software, and/or your employer's IT Department blocking expected information in the Web request from your browser. This information is necessary to protect you, the IRS.gov and IN.gov systems from improper use such as phishing attempts, browser hijacking, and other security threats.
You may also check your browser settings, check with your Internet Service Provider or check with your IT Department to look into why key information is being blocked from your browser. Unfortunately, due to the many differences between internet browsers and individual computer configurations, we are unable to suggest internet settings or configurations for you.
Last Updated: 12/21/2011