Free Tax Assistance
Not everyone can afford to hire a CPA to do his or her tax return. Luckily, there are great programs available so you can get the help you need to file your personal tax return – and they're free!
The World Wide Web: The IRS website (www.irs.gov) provides a wide variety of tax information and you can even prepare and file your federal return through Free File, an exclusive service offered by the IRS. Have a tax question? Visit 1040 Central on the Individual page on the IRS site. The IRS also provides additional online services and tools that will assist you with your taxes. Another option is TurboTax's Free File Program, which allows you to prepare and e-file your return at no cost. Visit www.taxfreedom.com for more information and to see if you qualify.
By Phone: The IRS has a Tax Help Line for individuals to get answers for their federal tax questions. For toll-free assistance, call 1-800-829-1040. Assistance is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time. To order free forms, instructions, and publications call 1-800-829-3676.
Taxpayer Assistance Centers: Prefer to receive face-to-face assistance? You can find aid at your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. To find information on locations, business hours, and an overview of available services please visit www.irs.gov.
Community Resources: Many communities offer free tax preparation and assistance programs that are sponsored by the IRS for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is made up of IRS-trained community volunteers who can aid eligible taxpayers with tax assistance and special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (ECIT). To find a VITA program near you, call 1-800-906-9887. You may also contact your local United Way, a typical VITA participant, for information.
Another program, specifically for people age 60 and older, is the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program (TCE). Volunteers, who are often retired individuals, are trained by the IRS to provide tax counseling. For more information on the TCE program or to find the locations, dates, and hours of the nearest site, call 1-800-906-9887. You may also contact AARP, a TCE participant, at 1-888-227-7669 or visit www.aarp.org for the nearest TCE site.
Items you need to bring to the VITA/TCE sites: