Thanks to the TaxProf Blog for the heads up.
The IRS and the Free File Alliance have extended their agreement for another 4 years. In exchange for being included in this program, the software companies agree to behave better in terms of disclosure of RAL programs and state filing and the fees for all. The program is now open to taxpayers with income under $49,000. Of the eligible 93 million taxpayers, last year 5 million used it. While in principle it is a good idea, the Free File Alliance is a sore point with alot of tax practitioners. They feel it is taking potential clients away from them. I can see their point but I don't think it has hurt me. But I wonder how many of the people eligible have access to a computer or the desire to do their taxes online.
My software company (Drake) does not participate since it feels to do so would be a conflict of interests by putting them in competition with their customers. It is thinking like that that keeps us loyal (and an awesome product).