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More people filed their taxes for free so far this year compared to last year, IRS says

More people are filing their taxes using Free File this year, the IRS said.

Use of IRS Free File is up 9.7% from a year earlier to 943,000 through Feb. 24, the IRS said. Free File allows any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $79,000 or less in 2023 to file taxes for free through one of eight IRS partners. To access the service, go online at IRS Free File and use guided software.

If you're eligible, a free filing can save you a pretty penny. An individual taxpayer is estimated to spend 13 hours and $240 out-of-pocket costs just to prepare and file one annual tax return, according to the Taxpayer Advocate's 2022 annual report to Congress. Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the IRS that helps protect taxpayers' rights.

Who are IRS partners for Free File?

For 2024, trusted partners participating in IRS Free File are:

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Are there other ways to file my taxes free?

Yes, the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

VITA sites offer free tax help to:

  • People who generally make $64,000 or less

  • Persons with disabilities; and

  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers

TCE offers free tax help, particularly for those who are at least 60 years old. The organization specializes in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

To find a location near you and see what you need to bring, check the IRS site.

Other organizations offering free tax help include AARP, which is geared toward older adults, and the U.S. Defense Department's MilTax targets military families. Here's USA Today's list of other resources.

What to know about tax credits before filing
What to know about tax credits before filing

How much is the average tax refund this year?

The average refund so far is $3,213 this year, up 4.3% from this time last year, IRS data show. That's based on 28.945 million refunds issued, down from 35.142 million a year earlier.

Where to locate your money: Where's my refund? How to track your tax refund through the IRS system

How many people have filed their tax returns so far?

The total returns the IRS has received through February 24 is 44.584 million, down 3% from a year ago.

Of those, 43.661 million, down 2.9%, were filed electronically, IRS data show.

More of your 2024 tax season questions answered

Sorry, retirees: These 12 states still tax Social Security. Is yours one of them?

Soften the blow: Deduct up to $2,500 on student loan repayments. Here's how.

What's this year's child tax credit? Here's what you need to know about qualifying.

New Federal tax brackets for 2023-2024. What does it mean for you?

Golden bachelor tax break: Older adults can save on 2023 taxes by claiming an extra deduction. Here's how to do it.

Flush with new funding, the IRS zeroes in on the taxes of uber-wealthy Americans

Your single largest payday may be a 2023 tax filing away. File early to get a refund sooner

Is it better to pay someone to do your taxes or do them yourself? We'll help you decide.

IRS to offer pandemic-related relief on some penalties to nearly 5 million taxpayers

Driving for work will pay more next year after IRS boosts 2024 mileage rate

What is OASDI tax on my paycheck? Here's why you and your employer pay this federal tax.

A 30% national sales tax? Abolishing the IRS? Here's what the FairTax Act of 2023 would do

These 8 states don’t have an income tax. Does yours make the list?

What is net pay? How it works, how to calculate it and its difference from gross pay

Medora Lee is a money, markets, and personal finance reporter at USA TODAY. You can reach her at mjlee@usatoday.com and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: IRS Free File users jump nearly 10% from last tax season, IRS says