Who is eligible for Free File?
Each participating software company sets its own eligibility requirements and not all customers will qualify for all companies. Generally, the eligibility criteria are based on one or more of the following:
- Federal adjusted gross income
- Active military status
- Earned Income Tax Credit qualification
Carefully review the Free File vendor criteria before selecting the company. With Free File you will need to file your federal and state tax return together at the same time.
The IRS has more vendors that offer free federal e-file options than Virginia has listed on their page of vendors that offer free federal and free state e-file. To ensure that you can file both returns for free, start with the list of vendors on this website.
How do I get started with Free File?
Review our list of Free File vendors and their specific eligibility criteria. If you go directly to the IRS website to access a Free File vendor, you may select one that does not support free e-file of the Virginia return. Please select a product from our Free File page to assure yourself the opportunity to e-file both your federal and Virginia returns.
Determine if you qualify for Free File and select your vendor. After choosing a company, click on the company's name to visit their website. You will then leave Virginia Tax's website and be sent to a Free File software website.
You start the process by preparing your federal return first, followed by your Virginia return. If you determine after you start preparing your tax return with a particular company that you are not eligible for that company's Free File service and you may be subject to a fee, you have the following options:
- Return back to our site and review the list of Free File vendors again and select another company that you may qualify for, or
- Continue completing your return and pay the e-file fee.
Is there a charge to electronically file my return with Free File?
Depending on your eligibility with Free File, there is no charge to file both your federal and state tax return. You must select from one of the Free File vendors that support Virginia.
If you do not qualify for Free File you may still use the software, but will be charged a fee to file electronically. We suggest you review all of your options to find the option that's right for you. Review these paid software vendors for details.
I qualify for Free File, so why is the product I selected trying to charge me?
Depending on the software option you select, you may need to create a new account in order to get your federal and state return for free. If you already have an established account, the software may try redirecting you to the product you last used and will prompt the normal fee. The easiest way to ensure you are using the free product is to access Free File from Virginia Tax's website and follow the instructions to create a new account with the software product.
I have already filed my federal return, can I e-file just my Virginia return?
Yes, some software products allow you to file your Virginia return for free and separate from the federal return you already filed. In order to complete your state return with their product, you must enter your federal return information again. Do not file that "second" federal return; only file the state Virginia tax return in this scenario.
However, other software products require you to file both the federal and state return at the same time with their product in order to obtain the free file offering. Review each product carefully.
If I'm filing jointly with my spouse, does the adjusted gross income limitation apply to my spouse and I separately or combined?
If you use the married filing jointly filing status, the adjusted gross income (AGI) criteria applies to the AGI for both of you combined.