IRS Guide to Free Tax Preparation
Each year, programs Voluntary Aid Taxpayers (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) help people. Through these programs sponsored by the IRS, millions of individuals of low to moderate income and their families get free help preparing your taxes.
The IRS is working with local community groups to train and certify volunteers VITA and TCE to offer this service. Eligible taxpayers, including those with disabilities or limited English should take advantage of these free programs.
Here are several important details about VITA and TCE:
- VITA. VITA offers free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers who generally earn $ 54,000 or less.
- TCE. TCE is mainly for people aged 60 or more, but offers service to all taxpayers. The program focuses on tax issues unique to the elderly. AARP participates in the TCE program through AARP Tax-Aide.
- Local sites. The IRS works with community organizations to provide free tax services at thousands of sites around the country. These sites typically open in late January and early February.
- Free electronic filing. VITA and TCE provide free electronic filing; this is the safest and accurate way to file a tax return. Combine electronic filing with direct deposit(in English) for faster refunds.
- Tax benefits. The TCE and VITA volunteers help people get all the tax benefits for which they are eligible. These include the Earned Income Tax Credit Labour , the Tax Credit American Opportunity (in English), the Child Tax Credit () or the Credit for the Elderly (English).
- Bilingual assistance. Some VITA and TCE sites provide bilingual assistance.
- Support for the military. Many military bases have VITA sites provide free tax assistance to military members and their families. Volunteers can help withmilitary tax issues (in English). Some of these include special rules and tax benefits that apply to those serving in combat zones (in English).
- Self – preparation option. In many VITA sites, people earning $ 64,000 or less can prepare their own tax returns with free software online. This option is for those who have a personal computer or do not need much help.
- Information sites. Taxpayers can find the nearest VITA site if they use the tool locator VITA at IRS.gov or by downloading the application IRS2Go. Sites information is also available by calling the IRS at 800-906-9887. Findout more about the locations of AARP Tax-Aide withAARP Tax-Aide Locator (English) or by calling 888-227-7669.
All taxpayers must keep a copy of your tax return. As of 2017, taxpayers who use tax software products for the first time may need the amount of your adjusted gross income (AGI) of the previous year to verify your identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify your identity and sign your return electronically check your tax return after filing electronically .
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