Myth: EVERYONE is Eligible to Free File!

IRS: EVERYONE is Eligible to Free File!

Everyone?  Including Americans abroad?  Even those with foreign addresses, senior citizens, the working middle class or the wealthy?

if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income… are generally the same whether you are living in the U.S. or abroad.
IRS: Income from Abroad is Taxable

The rules for filing income are generally the same for those living abroad?  Really?  Seems hard to believe.  Let’s put it to the test.

Well, forget Free File Fillable Forms.

Foreign Addresses – Free File Fillable Forms does not currently support foreign addresses on the Form 1040 or on income documents (W2’s or 1099’s).
IRS: Free File Fillable Forms FAQs & Limitations

That scratches the IRS, the one making the claim, from qualifying.  This is rather ironic, considering:

U.S. citizen or resident alien, you must report income from all sources within and outside of the U.S.
IRS: Income from Abroad is Taxable

Americans living abroad must report their income even though the IRS refuses to accept their foreign address with freefile, contrary to its own claims?

We’re sorry, foreign mailing addresses for the main address on your tax return are not supported by our software.
FreeTaxUSA (search for foreign address)

That scratches FreeTaxUSA from the list, given that it likely figures that USA tax is for people in the USA?

You can generally use YES I-CAN!™ E-File unless you (or your spouse, if filing together) are in the military, are a church employee, are a non-resident alien, sold real estate or you or your employer have a non-US address.
YesICanEFile

Must be a typo.  NoICannotFile.org would be the correct site, yet such honesty would violate the “EVERYONE is Eligible to Free File” claim.

 OTP does not support the entry of foreign addresses
OnlineTaxPros

OffshoreTaxProhibition.com would work better in this context.  That scratches another from the list.

Not supported… foreign income (if you worked or had investments abroad)
EzTaxReturn

Well now, easy tax return is actually not so easy at all!  Try filing while being denied the ability to do so.  Such sure wasn’t easy to me.  Nonotaxreturn.com would be a better name for that site.  Another down and we are running of possibilities!

You Qualify for Free* federal filing if… Your AGI is $57000 or less and you live in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VT, WI, or WV then you are entitled to free federal tax preparation, printing & e-filing
TaxSimple

I guess that CH is not a US State, probably because it has a foreign address.  Thus, http://www.taxpain.org is scratched from the list too, unless one is under under 66 and asks the right person to manually enter the foreign address.  A similar conditions apply to 1040Now.net

You qualify for free tax preparation, printing, & e-filing if your adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less and you are age 19 through 55 years old. Offer valid in all states.
TaxActOnline

Holy smoke!  TaxACT accepts foreign addresses, as long as the foreign address is in the country of “America”, since no other country can be entered.  Yet, even if one lives at a foreign address in America, one is still denied the right to free-file if one is younger than 19, older than 55 or if one has an AGI greater than $57000. Yet, TaxACT also writes:

FREE for Everyone – No restrictions or gimmicks
TaxAct

So, if one avoids the IRS freefile and goes directly to TaxACT.com, then maybe the restrictions don’t apply as long as one lives at a foreign address in America?  I hope you are not confused, because I sure am.

Adjusted Gross Income: between $12,050 and $57,000, and
Live in any state or U.S. Citizens and resident aliens with foreign addresses
Olt

Wow, OLT strangely realized that Americans abroad do not live in America!  Now, that could seem shocking, except that an AGI between $12050 and $57,000 excludes just about everyone and anyone who lives abroad.  Similar conditions apply to FileYourTaxes.  Now, somebody has got to be able to free file, one would think…

Your age is 52 or under and your AGI is less than $57000
1040

Cool!  Another company that realizes that not all Americans live in America, and they even accept most Americans abroad with an AGI under $57000.  Yet, they exclude the wealthy and senior citizens.  Well, that’s not EVERYONE.  How rude!  Similar conditions apply to H&R Block, eSmartTax and TaxSlayer.  Oh, wait, there’s one more:

Yes. Starting on March 15, 2012, you will be able to e-file a federal tax return with a foreign or U.S. Possession mailing address… Similarly, you’ll need a U.S. bank account or credit card to pay owed taxes and product fees. TurboTax Refund Card and Refund Processing Services require a U.S. address or APO/FPO/DPO address. Free products which require registration in lieu of payment require a U.S. address or APO/FPO/DPO address.
TurboTax

You earned $31000 or less or were Active Duty Military or you qualified for the Earned Income Credit
TurboTax

That still excludes senior citizens and the wealthy from “everyone”, one can’t get a refund unless one has US address, one can’t pay taxes unless one has a bank account or credit card in another country where one doesn’t live and one can’t enjoy free products unless one has a US address.  Getting a bank account, credit card or mailing address in another country where one does not live is not always an easy task.

Thus, the “EVERYONE is Eligible to Free File” claim is false and the rules for filing income are also not the same as those living in the US.  The US government, can only be ashamed when promoting this non-functioning condition of citizenship-based taxation.