- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) — Tens of millions of American taxpayers will be able to file their returns online without cost this year through a new IRS Web site announced Thursday by the White House.

The site, which can be reached through irs.gov, was formed in partnership with a number of tax software companies. It is now in operation.

Users of the site are given an explanation of the system and step-by-step instructions on how to file.

"… It's easy, it's fast, it's secure, and it allows filers to get refunds in half the time while saving taxpayers time and the IRS money," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

The IRS said about 78 million Americans would be able to use the system. Eligibility depends on adjusted gross income for 2002, eligibility to file income, state residency, eligibility to claim the earned income credit and eligibility to file tax form 1040EZ.

Taxpayers can either fill out a questionnaire through the site to determine eligibility or they can scroll through the list of free tax software participants and check their requirements for use.

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