Filing with Free File or Fillable Forms, using commercial software or using the services of authorized e-file providers are three ways to file federal tax returns electronically, states the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers can also mail paper returns to their local IRS office.
As of 2015, if your income is below $60,000, you can use free tax preparation software, according to the IRS. Use the tool at the IRS website to find a company offering Free File or consult the complete list provided. Some states also offer free filing. If your income is above $60,000 and you can fill out the tax forms for yourself, use Free File Fillable Forms, which are electronic versions of the paper forms. These forms perform some mathematical operations and provide only basic guidance, states the IRS.
If your income is over $60,000 and you need assistance in preparing your tax forms, using a commercial tax preparation software is one of two options. The software asks you questions about your finances and prepares the forms. The software then transmits the forms to the IRS through an approved secure electronic channel. The other option for assisted electronic filing is through an authorized e-file provider. The providers on the IRS list have chosen to be on the list but are not endorsed by the Internal Revenue Service, explains the IRS.