You can receive free income tax preparation and electronic filing. It does not make sense to pay $150 or more for income tax return preparation when you can take advantage of this free service.
To locate the nearest free income tax preparation site, you may contact your local United Way from a landline by dialing 2-1-1 in many cities. The 2-1-1 operator can match you with the closest free VITA or Tax Aide site. 2-1-1 is a public service of the United Way.
There are two main programs that offer free income tax preparation. Both programs also offer free electronic filing.
The volunteer income tax assistance is a program through the Internal Revenue Service that matches you with a community nonprofit partner. Their volunteers are trained directly by IRS employees.
You may get basic returns prepared at no charge. In addition, electronic filing means that you could have your refund deposited directly in your bank account, usually in under 10 days. Why pay extra for that? You may call the IRS at (800) TAX-1040 and request a local VITA site. Operators can find a site in or near your zip code.
The VITA program is available for families with total household income under $42,000, or if they are age 62 or older. You may still qualify for the Tax Aide program if you do not meet these eligibility requirement.
Tax Aide is a program through AARP which is similar to VITA, except that the income requirement is removed. There are no age restrictions either.
Volunteers are trained by AARP employees in an IRS approved training course. Anyone can get help with their income tax return. However, understand that complicated returns may exceed the training limitations of volunteers, who may suggest finding a paid preparer. Call (888) AARP-NOW for more details.
Wake EITC Coalition
Vision Credit is a partner in a local coalition that promotes wealth building activities in conjunction with spreading the news about free tax preparation. Depending on where you live, you may have a network of organizations that collaborate on programs to make sure you have access to these programs. You may call the IRS at (800) TAX-1040 or the United Way at 2-1-1 to request a local volunteer tax preparation program.