— -- Why pay someone to file your tax returns, when you can do it yourself for free?
It's called "Free File," and Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith says it's available for those in the low- to middle-income tax bracket.
"If your income is $60,000 or less, you qualify," he says. "Last year, about 3.2 million people took advantage of that service."
You can find Free File at IRS.gov. It's part of a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance that lets qualifying taxpayers choose from leading brand-name tax software programs.
"It’s the big names and some names that may be less familiar," Smith says. "Over a dozen companies participate in the program."
Since 2003, more than 43 million people have used Free File. If you prefer, however, you can still file your taxes the old-fashioned way without spending a dime.
"We can all file for free by doing it with paper and pencil," Kevin McCormally of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine says.
The forms you need are as close as your nearest post office.