FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Internal Revenue Service tax season is underway and the government’s Free File program is open.

Free File is a program that allows people, within a certain tax bracket, to have their federal tax return prepared for free.

“If you make less than $57,000 a year, and that’s the majority of people, you can go out to our Free File site… to prepare your taxes and use it for free,” explained Diane Fox, director of the Free File program.

Fox said not only is the service offered at no charge, but it can also lessen the wait time.

“And combine that [Free File] with direct deposit, they can get their refund in as few as 10 days,” she said.

Taxpayers must access the Free File products through the website or authorized kiosks to avoid any charges for preparing or e-filing a federal tax return.

In 2010, hundreds of thousands of Texans used the service but Fox said that number is low.

“Last year there were about 230,000 Texans that used Free File, but we know there are a lot more people that are eligible and they just may not know about it.”

Taxpayers have an extra two days to file federal tax returns this year, because April 15 is on a Sunday and federal offices in Washington D.C. are closed on Monday the 16 for a holiday – making the 2012 federal tax filing deadline April 17.

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