Free tax preparation near you.
Find information on non-profits, charities, and government agencies that provide free income tax preparation as well as filing services. A combination of highly training volunteers as well as accountants, financial advisors and others help low to moderate income families. Locate a free tax preparer near you below and learn about the assistance programs available.
There are a number of free government and charity organizations that provide free tax preparation services, with a focus on senior citizens and low-income households. Get details on assistance programs including the following.
- IRS sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is free preparation for low to moderate income families. Both online and in person income tax preparers are available.
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or TCE, is a free government tax preparation and filing services for people over the age of 60.
- AARP Tax-Aide, is free tax preparation program for any low-income family, however there is priority and a focus for a senior.
- There are also IRS approved online websites as well as software programs that can help prepare and file taxes for free.
People can get online, virtual or in-person help. All of these tax preparation services are free, and will process both federal and state government forms. They also include free filing of the return. All of these, and other services listed below, offer free state or federal government income tax filing as well as preparation help near you or online.
Services provided by a free tax preparer
Many of the free programs, whether preparing or filing, are provided by highly trained volunteers, who are certified by the IRS to help people prepare their taxes at no cost to themselves. Both “basic” as well as complicated scenarios are covered.
All of these assistance programs free advice around deductions, credits (including earned income or child-tax credit), and other scenarios. Get help preparing taxes with 1040s, a W-2, low-income benefits and other state or government tax firms.
There are specialists, with free income tax filing in English, Spanish, and other languages. Volunteers or professions work with the client, including people with gig or side-hustle jobs, and help them prepare their taxes for free; this is in addition to the filing services. Find more details on rideshare income tax filing.
Many people, no matter their educational level or how much financial literacy they have, are wary of doing their own taxes. Asking for free professional help is generally a good idea. As part of these software or charitable programs, households are given access to a variety of support services, ranging from tips on applying for income tax credits as well as information on deductions, free e-filing, information on government benefits and more.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Get free help near you preparing and filing income taxes from VITA. The government funded service is available near you through the benefits.gov website. To access this service the household needs to either make less than $60,000 per year, have a disability, be at least 65 years old or speak limited English. Applicants only need to meet one of those requirements to be eligible.
This is a service that the clients can go to in person or do through an online chat,. In addition, free tax preparation is only available on a drop-in basis. Volunteer tax professionals staff temporary locations, including community action agencies near you, throughout the country.
Free preparers from VITA are usually at local libraries, community centers, shopping malls or schools. Low-income families can verify their eligibility and search for a free preparation and filing location near you all in one step by visiting the benefits.gov website. The household that needs assistance won't need to fill out an application, but they should make sure you are eligible before visiting.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help and will prepare state or federal returns for people who earn less than about $60,000 per year (depending on family size). More on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
Free preparation from Tax Counseling for the Elderly
Tax Consulting for the Elderly (or TCE) is a free filing program offered through benefits.gov, but this one is exclusively for people aged 60 and older. Seniors citizens, the elderly and their partners can get free advice on state, federal government as well as other financial matters. The elderly can also get help free help filing their income taxes, including E-file or in the mail.
This is another program that has the client visit a location somewhere near where they live, where they will speak with volunteers who are specially trained to handle tax issues that are common to older Americans. There are also free online chats or meeting for the elderly as well. As with the VITA program, applicants can do a search at the benefits.gov website to find locations in and around your zip code.
Another option is the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE), which offers information as well as advice. As part of this, highly trained staff will also prepare returns to taxpayers who are 60 and older. The last option is to of course do it yourself (DIY), and the IRS offers software for that. Continue with Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Though the AARP generously funds this free program, anyone who is interested doesn’t need to be a member - in fact, they don't even need to be retired or a senior! The AARP Tax-Aide program begins on February 1 every year and is available to anyone who needs tax assistance.
This is another program that brings volunteer tax prep experts together with low- and moderate-income individuals at various community meeting places. Tax-Aide is a free income tax preparation program with virtual and face to face services. They specialize in the common needs of those 50 and older, but there is no minimum age to receive assistance. Volunteers assist with both federal and state taxes; in some cases, they can even help with returns in neighboring states.
Low to moderate income households can search by zip code at the AARP website to find locations near you for free income tax filing advice, preparation or consultation. Then just give each location a call to find out what their hours of availability will be for the upcoming week. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is also available, and this is for both members of AARP as well as people who are not even members. The free advice, preparation, and filing is also for individuals of all ages; not just seniors or retirees. For details, dial 888-687-2277.
Free online income tax preparation and software
The IRS has free income tax preparation and filing software. This is both for federal and state returns. The income guidelines are also generally higher, and the total household income can be under the $70,000 range. This is part of the government E-File program. This option is generally best for a “simple” return, such as one without investments, deductions, etc. Learn more on E-File from the IRS
Many software as well as online companies, including but not limited too TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxAct, Credit Karma and others allow households to prepare and file their taxes for free. Many of the websites as well as software programs do not have income restrictions. However they are more useful for completing simple returns.
The free services can often help families identify deductions, file for Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), process income from freelance jobs, and they software helps with other filing questions. Find more details on free income tax software and websites.
Additional information on filing free tax returns or advice on preparation
The services are available to many people and they may not even realize they qualify as the income criteria are very “generous”. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of individuals benefit from this free income tax filing filing program, which as noted includes preparation as well.
To apply for free tax returns near you from volunteers and other non-profit organizations, use the tools above. Or it is recommended that taxpayers call their local community action agency or use the IRS website above. These non-profit organizations may sometimes coordinate the programs in your local community. Read more on community action agency.
If they are not the lead agency, they will usually be able to direct you to who to contact for more information. As the fact is that the IRS supported free income tax preparation as well as filing programs may be offered by thousands of different charities, including faith based groups, churches, private businesses, and other non-profits.
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