Prepare to File
First, gather all your tax documents and information.
- Income Documents: Gather your income documents (IRS Forms W-2, 1099 and any other records of your income and expenses) and remember to include the income even if you didn't 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.
- If you or a family member was enrolled in health insurance through the Marketplace: Form 1095-A from the Marketplace.
- Prior Year Tax Return: You'll 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 Social Security Number (SSN).
- Birthdays: You'll 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 the IRS received and accepted your tax return.
If the IRS rejects your return
If the IRS rejects your tax return, you'll receive an email. Review your tax return for any mistakes or typographical errors – common mistakes are incorrect SSN's, names, or dates of birth. Correct any errors and electronically file again.
If you are 100 percent sure your tax return is correct and the IRS still doesn’t accept the electronically filed tax return, you'll need to file a paper tax return.
What if I need help?
If you've 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, refer to the User's Guide on the Free File site.