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Filing your taxes at the last minute? Use a computer

With one day left before the April 15 tax filing deadline, Richard Henninger, Director of the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Individual and Corporate Tax Division, today urged taxpayers to take advantage of the Free File Alliance, a partnership with private tax software companies that provides free tax preparation and electronic filing to eligible taxpayers. This free service allows many taxpayers to file their returns more quickly and accurately, which often means finding deductions and credits that lead to a larger refund.

“The Free File Alliance has already proven to be a great program for Alabama taxpayers,” said Mr. Henninger. “But only a small percentage of taxpayers who are eligible have taken advantage of this program so far this year. We want to get the word out and get taxpayers to visit http://www.ador.state.al.us/incometax/PC_ONLINE.htm to find out if they’re eligible.”

The Alabama Free File Alliance is modeled after the federal program in which the Internal Revenue Service partners with the private tax software industry to provide this valuable service to about 60% of taxpayers at no cost to either the public treasury or the users of the service. Alabama was one of the first states to adopt a similar public service program at the state level. Eligible taxpayers that take advantage of the program not only get free services, but also by filing online can have their refund deposited directly into their bank account.

In addition to increasing e-filing rates, which helps reduce state tax operating costs, this innovative public-private partnership avoids substantial state expenditures required to duplicate such services – which is particularly important in a time of tight budgets – while still delivering valuable citizen-centric e-services.

Each participating software company uses individual criteria to determine which taxpayers are eligible; they most often target taxpayers based on income, eligibility for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, age or military service. One such provider is Intuit, Inc., which donates its popular TurboTax(r) for the WebSM product.