More than 2M Virginians can prepare, file taxes for free this year
Gov. Bob McDonnell said on Tuesday that the VA Free File program gives more than 2 million low- and moderate-income Virginia taxpayers the opportunity to prepare and electronically file their 2011 federal and state income tax returns for free this tax season.
VA Free File is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of commercial tax-software companies. The 2010 General Assembly approved the partnership. VA Free File is modeled after the highly successful Internal Revenue Service Free File program used by millions of taxpayers since 2003 to e-file their federal income tax returns for free.
Free File lets taxpayers who meet certain eligibility criteria, including an income threshold, e-file their state and federal tax returns for free online using commercial tax-preparation software. Free File supports the Virginia 760 form for residents, the 760PY form for part-year residents, and the 763 form for non-residents.
“Last year only a fraction of those who qualified for free tax-return preparation and e-filing of their federal and state returns took advantage of Virginia’s new Free File program,” said Gov. McDonnell. “This year I urge all Virginia taxpayers who earned $57,000 or less in adjusted gross income last year to go to the Tax Department’s website to see if they qualify to use VA Free File.”
E-filing is the easiest, fastest and safest way to file your taxes. Taxpayers who file online and request direct deposit can expect to receive their refunds in a matter of days instead of weeks for those who file on paper.
Most taxpayers who don’t qualify for VA Free File can still file their taxes online for free beginning this year by using the tax department’s new Free Fillable Forms program. In January, Virginia became the first state to offer Fillable Forms that can be filed online. The Fillable Forms return is an online version of Virginia’s 760 return and schedules for Virginia residents. There are no income thresholds, and simple math calculations are done for you. This is another great alternative for taxpayers who currently complete and file their returns on paper.
To learn more about VA Free File and Free Fillable Forms, go to the Department of Taxation’s website at www.tax.virginia.gov and click on the e-file announcement.