Prepare to File
First, gather all of your tax documents and information.
- Income Documents: Gather your income documents (IRS Forms W2, 1099 and any other records of your income and expenses) and remember to include the income even if you did not receive an IRS Form W-2 or 1099.
- Deduction and Credit Information: Home mortgage interest, property taxes, day care, and education expenses are common deductions and credits.
- Prior Year Tax Return: You will need the personal identification number (PIN) you used or the adjusted gross income from that return.
- Social Security Cards: You need a card for each person you’ll list on your tax return – having the card is the best way to verify you have the correct number.
- Birthdays: You will need the birth dates for you, your spouse and your dependents.
You can find more information on what you need to gather at IRS.gov Free File.
After you file electronically, you should get an email confirming that the IRS received and accepted your return.
If the IRS rejects your return
If the IRS rejects your return, you will receive an e-mail. Review your return for any mistakes or typographical errors – common mistakes are incorrect Social Security numbers, names, or dates of birth. Correct any errors and e-file again.
If you are 100 percent sure your return is correct and the IRS still doesn’t accept the electronically filed return, you will need to file a paper return.
What if I need help?
If you have chosen to use Free File Software and are having trouble with the program, contact the customer service unit for the software company.
If you’re having difficulty with IRS Free File Fillable Forms, call the IRS help line listed on the Free File site.