There are resources for those who need help preparing their tax returns. Qualified individuals can seek assistance from a tax preparer or from a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA Program offers free tax help for low-to moderate-income individuals (usually the maximum income amount for EITC or less) who need help to prepare their own tax returns. VITA sites are located in communities across the country. The volunteer sites are sponsored by various community organizations and generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing. Volunteers receive training to help prepare basic tax returns and must pass a certification test to prepare tax returns.
To find a free tax site in your area, call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887. Or, use the Free Tax Help Locator at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep
Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (M-VITA) Program
Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors, guardsmen and their families can receive tax preparation assistance at offices within their installations, both in the United States and foreign countries. These M-VITA sites provide free tax advice and tax preparation services to armed forces personnel and their families. Personnel are trained and equipped to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program
The IRS-sponsored Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides free tax help to taxpayers age 60 or older. Trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income-tax return preparation for senior citizens. Volunteers who provide tax counseling often are retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
As part of the TCE Program, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers the Tax-Aide Counseling Program at more than 9,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. Trained and certified AARP Tax-Aide volunteer counselors help people of low-to-middle income with special attention to taxpayers age 60 and older.
To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit AARP's web site at http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action
Paid Tax Return Preparer
For those who prefer to have their tax return prepared by a paid tax return preparer see Tips for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer.
Last updated: 1/7/2013