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PHOENIX - - Whether you draw a paycheck, are self-employed or own a small business, you can use all available tax forms you need for free with IRS Free File.

If you make $62,000 or less, you qualify for free brand-name software offered through a partnership between the IRS and 13 leading tax software providers. Some of these providers offer free federal and free state return preparation and electronic filing. If you made more than $62,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, electronic versions of IRS paper forms best for someone experienced in return preparation.

Free File offers all federal tax forms for free. That goes for the Form 1040, Form 1040EZ and Form 1040A. For example, all forms are free if you have mortgage interest deductions, children in college or made money in the stock market, among other things.

Also for example, all forms are free if you have a Form W-2, or a Form 1099 or an EIN for your own business.

February marks a high-point in the tax filing season when the IRS experiences many calls to its customer service line from taxpayers with questions. Free File software products can help answer many of your questions by walking you through a step-by-step process to complete your tax return.

And if you can't find answers from your tax software product, there are many other online tools at IRS.gov that can help you find the answers you need when you need them.

To start your Free File tax return, you first need all your documents including your income statements such as Form W-2. Businesses are required to provide their employees with their Forms W-2 by Jan. 31.

If you did not receive your Form W-2, now is a good time to contact your employer or former employer and put in your request. If you do not receive your Form W-2 by the end of February, contact the IRS and the agency will send a letter to your employer.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot meet the April 18 tax deadline this year, you also can use Free File to submit an extension to file. Just look for the companies that are offering free extensions. The extension will give you until Oct. 17. But remember, it's an extension to file, not an extension to pay. If you think you will owe, be sure to make any payment by April 18.

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Editor's Note

Mary Alice tried out a different format for reporting the lengthy County Commission preliminary budget hearing. Instead of traditional narrative sentences, to do it more quickly and efficiently, she put the name of each speaker before a paraphrased version of their comments. Questions were not necessarily asked by the speaker, but they were answered by the one replying. Please let editor@grantcountybeat.com know if you love, hate or are indifferent about the format. It may lead to how some reports are written henceforth in order to get them out in a more timely manner.

Mary Alice is back, but on slow-mo, trying to catch up with all that didn't get done before she had to leave. And doing everything that happened after she got back! Working on it

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Classifieds: Check periodically to see if any news ones have popped up. Welcome to our new version of classified ads.  We invite you our readers to post your own classifieds, which are available for viewing 24/7 and are very reasonable in price, because you do all the work yourselves. A recent classified for a van brought a sale within two days. It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It's a software problem, not easily fixable, other than showing fewer articles per summary page. If you are a frequent visitor, you might not mind fewer articles per page, but if you only come once in a while, you likely want to see more articles to browse. Write me at editor@grantcountybeat.com to let me know your feelings on this issue. 

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include one about end of life options, Compassionate Care.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

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