IRS opens early free file program, but there are things to keep in mind

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The official start of tax season is still a few weeks away, but if you want to get a jump on filing, the Internal Revenue Service said you can do that right now. However, keep in mind — not everyone can get started just yet.

If you made $69,000 or less in 2019, the IRS said you can now get a jump on this year’s tax season with the IRS’ free file program.

“It is safe, it’s secure, it’s easy and it’s free,” said Jodi Reynolds with the IRS.

Reynolds said the free file program is online now and gives taxpayers the option to start early.

“We work hand in hand with 10 different partners to provide free options for taxpayers to electronically file as long as they meet certain requirements,” Reynolds said.

The partners are listed on the IRS free file website.

Officials, though, said as long as you’re below that $69,000 income threshold, at least one of the ten filing partners should have an option for you. However, they warn, don’t rush into filing early just because you qualify.

“You want to wait to file until you’re ready until you have all of your documents and you’ve received everything from your employers and your investment companies,” Reynolds said.

Filing sooner than later, though, can also protect you from scams, as it gives crooks less time to file a false return using your social security number.

Something else to keep in mind: filing ahead of the official start date doesn’t mean you’ll get your tax refund early.

“The filing season doesn’t officially open until the 27th, so if you free file, say this weekend, what the software company will do is hold onto your return and then transmit it to us immediately,” Reynolds said.

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