Audio: How to file taxes for free

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The 2009 electronic filing system began January 16, and this year the IRS has added a new option. I’m Judy Martel with the Bankrate.com personal finance minute.

In addition to the standard Free File program, where you can go to the IRS Web site and select one of 20 private tax preparation software companies to help you complete your taxes, the IRS is also offering its own free filing option.

With the traditional Free File method, taxpayers whose adjusted gross income in 2008 was $56,000 or less can sign onto the IRS site, pick a vendor, prepare their returns and then file them for free.

But the new IRS Free File Fillable Tax Forms can be used by any taxpayer, regardless of income.

The difference with this program is that there is no software with the new fillable forms, which are electronic reproductions of IRS paper forms, so you must know what to type into the document that appears on your computer screen.

For more information about filing your taxes, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Judy Martel.