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600,000 Idahoans can file federal, state income taxes online for free. What to know

Business & Money

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Last year, 600,000 Idahoans were eligible to file their state and federal taxes online for free, using programs that do the math and walk taxpayers through the filing process.

But only 13% — about 78,000 taxpayers — took advantage of the free filing option.

The Idaho Tax Commission wants to increase that percentage this year by promoting the option.

“If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 a year or less, you probably can prepare and e-file your returns for free,” Tax Commission Chairman Jeff McCray said in a news release.

Your gross income includes wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions and other income. Your adjusted gross income is never higher than gross income but is often lower, as it lowers gross income by subtracting items as contributions to retirement accounts, student loan interest and alimony payments.

“Electronic filing is a fast, easy way to file your taxes,” the Tax Commission said in the release. “The program does the math for you and refunds are issued more quickly than if you file by paper.”

Six providers — 1040Now, FileYourTaxes.com, TaxAct, Turbotax, OLT Online Taxes and Taxslayer — participate in collaboration with the Idaho Tax Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

But each of the companies has different criteria for determining who is eligible. The Idaho Tax Commission has a page online explaining who qualifies for free filing with each of the companies. The commission urges taxpayers who are eligible for the free filing to use the links provided on that page to ensure you’re not charged. Otherwise, accessing those companies’ websites through other links might lead to charges, the commission said.

Look for the “Free income tax e-file” link under the “Quick Picks” section of the Idaho Tax Commission’s website.

You must use the same provider to e-file both your federal and state returns.

For more information, call the tax commission or toll-free at (800) 972-7660.

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