Filing taxes is a pain, even in the best of circumstances. But, when you earn less than $51,000 a year, the IRS offers free tax return preparation and counseling through it’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Some help is available in-person and more through kiosks at supermarkets.
Trained community volunteers understand and can explain Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Most VITA sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Those who e-file will receive their tax refunds in half the time of those who file on paper.
Certified volunteers receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities nationwide. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.
Check this partial VITA site list online, or call 1-800-906-9887.
Both programs are very popular and can serve limited numbers of people in person, so it’s best to set up your appointment as soon as possible.