IRS Free File Makes Taxes Less Taxing for College Students

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2011 – The Internal Revenue Service is recommending a money-saving tax tip this season — most college students and first-time filers can use Free File from IRS to electronically prepare and e-file their federal tax return for free.

IRS Free File offers something for everyone through brand-name software or online fillable forms. It’s offered exclusive through through a partnership with commercial tax preparation companies.

“Free File saves you money and time preparing and e-filing your federal tax returns,” said Cecille M. Jones, acting director, IRS Electronic Tax Administration and Refundable Credits. “Free File really does make taxes less taxing.”

People with a 2010 Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less qualify to use IRS Free File brand-name tax software. People who make more than $58,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms. Just go to to get started.

The best part: There’s no need to be a tax expert — the Free File software does all the hard work. It completes the forms, does the math and helps find tax breaks.

Free File is especially helpful to college students who generally have incomes related to scholarships or part-time work. Because college students sometimes can have unusual tax situations, the IRS, in addition to recommending Free File, offers these suggestions:

  • Check with your parents: Depending upon the circumstances, they may still be eligible to claim you as a dependent. Your parents can claim you or you can claim yourself, but not both. So, talk over your taxes before you start.
  • E-file and use direct deposit: When you combine e-file and direct deposit you can get your refund in as few as 10 days.
  • Grants, scholarships, fellowships and ROTC payments: Some payments you receive are taxable and some are not; see Publication 970, Benefits for Education for details.
  • Explore education tax breaks. Again, Publication 970, available at, will have details.
  • Don’t wait until April 18, the deadline for 2011. There is no need to cram or panic. IRS Free File is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at

Have more questions? Visit for answers to frequently asked questions, tax tips and you can even track your refund. And remember: go through to be eligible for Free File offerings.