Taxpayers looking for tax preparation assistance should look into IRS sponsored, community-based, volunteer tax return preparation programs. Here are the top 10 things the IRS wants you to know about these volunteer programs.
- The IRS sponsors both the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
- The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to people who earn less than $49,000.
- The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program offers free tax help to taxpayers who are 60 and older.
- The IRS trains community volunteers so they can help eligible taxpayers with several special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly.
- Many volunteer sites have language specialists to assist people with limited English skills.
- More than 12,000 free tax preparation sites are open nationwide this year as the IRS continues to expand its partnerships with nonprofit and community organizations performing these vital tax preparation services.
- As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at over 5,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. Trained and certified AARP Tax-Aide volunteer counselors provide assistance to low-to-moderate people, with special attention paid to those 60 and older.
- The military also partners with the IRS to provide free tax assistance to military personnel and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Council consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Volunteers are trained and equipped to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.
- Locations and hours of operation are often available through city information hotlines and local community organizations.
- Local volunteer tax preparation site information is also available by calling the IRS toll-free number 1-800-906-9887. To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 (888-AARPNOW) or visit www aarp.org.