You can use free tax return preparation help if you meet certain eligibility criteria. There are several reasons why an individual would not be to enlist the services of a paid tax preparer, or prefer to use a no-cost service. Below are the three most commonly used free return preparation services:
If you are making less than $53,000 a year, then you can get free help in tax return preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers. These centers are run only during tax season. IRS-certified volunteers that have tax knowledge and experience with return preparation offer basic filing assistance. The volunteers also file tax returns electronically.
You can find the VITA site near you by using this online facility on the IRS website provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS. You may also call the IRS at their toll-free number 1-800-906-9887 to find a site near you.
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) can only be used by the elderly, specifically those who are 60 years or older. TCE centers specialize in retirement-related tax issues, such as retirement accounts, pension, tax on income after retirement, and so on. Again, IRS-certified volunteers provide free help to the elderly in return preparation.
You can find a TCE site by using the same online facility as used for finding a VITA site. Alternatively, you can call the IRS at the toll-free number, 1-888-227-7669.
Those working in the Air Force, the Navy, the Army, Marine Corps, and the Coach Guards can use The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) to receive free tax preparation help. These sites provide information and help in tax issues specific to the armed forces.
The AFTC partners with the IRS to provide help to military personnel and their families. The AFTC also oversees military tax programs worldwide.
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