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Free File allows Rhode Islanders prepare and file personal income tax returns online at no charge

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Many taxpayers this season can file their federal and Rhode Island personal income-tax returns online, at no charge, by using the Free File program available on the Rhode Island Division of Taxation website.

To use the Free File program, go to the Rhode Island Division of Taxation's Free File webpage and review the free offers displayed on that page from five brand-name online tax providers to see the ones for which you may be eligible. Choose the one that best suits your needs and click on it. Following is the link to the Rhode Island Division of Taxation webpage that includes all of this tax season's Free File offers: http://www.tax.ri.gov/misc/efile.php.

The federal and Rhode Island tax-filing seasons are now officially open. Therefore, if you are eligible for Free File, you can now prepare and electronically file your own federal and Rhode Island personal income tax returns at no charge through the Division of Taxation's website.

"Free File online products offer free federal and Rhode Island tax return preparation, free e-filing, and free direct deposit of refunds to ensure that you get your money faster," said Rhode Island Tax Administrator Neena Savage. "We encourage do-it-yourself taxpayers to visit our website and check to see if they're eligible for any of the Free File offers," she said.

Free File may be especially appealing to the following groups: ? College students; ? Young adults; ? First-time filers; ? Seniors and retirees; ? People in the military; and ? Some young families.

But those are not the only taxpayers who may benefit. To see if you may qualify, read each Free File offer for full details. The Rhode Island Division of Taxation's Free File webpage lists the Free File offers in alphabetical order and provides a brief description of each and a direct weblink to each.

Remember: Each of the offers on the Division of Taxation's Free File webpage is for free online tax-preparation and filing of your federal and Rhode Island personal income tax returns. The Division encourages do-it-yourself taxpayers to read the information on each offer carefully before beginning the filing process.

OTHER FREE FILE POINTS The Division also urges do-it-yourself taxpayers to keep the following points in mind: ? You must be eligible for Free File and you must file both your federal and state returns via the same Free File program in order to avoid charges/fees. ? If you have already filed your federal return using another electronic filing service, you will not be able to file your state return electronically. ? There may be a charge to file your taxes electronically if you do not meet the qualifications under the Free File program. ? Before you begin the online tax-preparation and e-filing process, gather up all the records that you would normally need to file a complete and accurate return, including Form W-2 wage statements, Form 1099 statements, Social Security numbers, and bank account information. ? E-filing is the only method available for having your Rhode Island personal income tax refund deposited directly into your bank or credit union account. Direct deposit is not available for paper returns. ? The Free File offers will be available through October 2021 for returns that cover the 2020 tax year.

The Free File offers are not produced or endorsed by the Rhode Island Division of Taxation. Rather, they are produced by private-sector tax-preparation companies that have agreed to provide free online tax-preparation and e-filing services to those who qualify (based on income and/or other criteria). Those do-it-yourself taxpayers who want to take advantage of the program should carefully read the details of each offer before beginning the tax-preparation and tax-filing process: http://www.tax.ri.gov/misc/efile.php.

ABOUT FREE FILE Rhode Island is one of 20 states nationwide offering the Free File program to taxpayers. The free service is made possible from Free File, which is a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation, a number of other states, and the Free File Alliance. The Free File Alliance is a group of industry-leading private-sector tax-preparation companies that have agreed to provide free commercial online tax-preparation and electronic filing. Keep in mind that you may be charged a fee for filing your taxes electronically if you do not meet the qualifications for Free File.

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