By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tax season opens Tuesday when the IRS begins processing returns, but the agency says you can get a jump on it by filing online. There’s also free help online for some taxpayers.

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People who earned less than $60,000 last year can get free access to brand name tax preparation software.

“That software actually enables people to prepare and electronically file their returns,” says IRS spokesperson Jenny Jenkins.

Jenkins calls it “free filing.” She says it’s better than mailing in a paper form.

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“Most people find that it’s very user friendly,” Jenkins says. “They don’t have to hunt for different forms. The software will automatically pull up the forms and fill the blanks in for them.”

In fact, Jenkins recommends everyone file electronically, even if you have to pay for the software.

“Filing electronically tends to greatly reduce errors that we typically see on paper-filed returns,” she says, “simple mathematical errors, transposing numbers, forgetting to fill in certain required fields.”

Jenkins says the software has the new forms needed for people who got insurance through the Affordable Care Act. She says that’s about 25 percent of taxpayers. Most will just have to check a box on their return.

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Click here to file your tax return electronically: