Due to the economic slowdown, the IRS expects more taxpayers to file early and claim their refunds sooner. (IRS News Release IR-2010-4)
Alert: The IRS reiterates that electronic filing is the quickest way to obtain a refund. Paper returns take four to six weeks to process. In contrast, e-filers can generally expect to receive refunds within 10 days. The IRS began accepting electronic returns on Jan. 15.
Approximately 3 million taxpayers used the IRS’ “Free File” program last year, down from roughly 5 million the previous year. Free File is open to taxpayers with an AGI of $57,000 or less. They are also eligible for free return-preparation software and free electronic filing. About 20 tax return software manufacturers give free online access to their materials to qualified taxpayers.
Tip: Tax-savvy filers with an AGI above $57,000 can use the no-cost “Fillable Forms” program.