Need some free help during tax season?

The IRS website provides a “free file” service for those who qualify.

by Rep. Phyllis Kahn - District 59B Minneapolis

I am following up the Minnesota DailyâÄôs Feb. 24 article “Students feel taxed by tax season.”

For those with an adjusted gross income of under $58,000, the IRS website helps you prepare your federal tax return and file it at no cost.

To begin, visit the IRS website,, and click on the “Free File” icon. There you will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies and may either choose the one that fits your needs or utilize the “help me find a company” tool.

After selecting a company, you will be transferred to the companyâÄôs website to prepare, complete and electronically file your federal income tax returns. Three of the 19 participating software companies also offer services in Spanish.

I would also strongly encourage you to support two funds when filing your state tax return.

One is the State Elections Campaign Fund. Checking this box will not increase your tax or reduce your refund. It designates $5 per taxpayer to assure partial public funding for state-level campaigns. Candidates must then agree to expenditure limits and to limit donations from lobbyists and PACs. You can designate your funds for a particular political party or the General Campaign Finance Fund. If you want increased accountability for your elected officials and want to limit the influence of special interests and big business, be sure to check that box.

You can also donate to the Nongame Wildlife Fund, which funds conservation efforts focused on nongame wildlife. Unlike the State Elections Campaign Fund checkoff, this is a donation and will reduce your refund or add to your tax payment but is tax deductible for next year. Look for the loon on the form.

I understand that many students are struggling with tuition and related expenses, but if you are able, please consider donating any amount to this important fund, which helps to preserve our unique wildlife and habitat.