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Tax season starts Jan. 19

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 17:59:07-05

Planning to pay to have your taxes done electronically? Most of us don't need to do that. According to irs.gov, 70 percent of the nation's taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File.

The website also lists companies that offer free software to approximately 100 million people and families that make $62,000 or less. Anyone, however, can get free electronic tax forms. They offer only basic guidance, though, and you would have to print them out and mail them in without the necessary software to file them electronically.

AARP also offers free assistance for electronically filing federal and Arizona state returns. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should according to Phoenix accountant Larry B. Betts, who says you could be be giving the government free money if you're not careful.

"If you put garbage in, you're going to get garbage out," Betts said. "You need to know a little of what you're doing. The software programs help you, but they don't necessarily make you correct."

Click here to see if you qualify to file your income tax returns for free.

The IRS will start taking individual electronic returns Tuesday, Jan. 19. The agency expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016.