The month of March can be Madness for everyone. While the nation’s best college basketball teams sweat it out on the court, millions of Americans sweat to file their tax returns before the clock runs out. Here are eight elite tips for scoring free tax help before this year’s tax filing deadline:
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly: TCE offers free tax assistance to low-income taxpayers and seniors age 60 and older. IRS-certified volunteers specialize in tax questions like pensions and retirement issues. Click here to find an AARP Tax-Aid site or call 1 (888) 227-7669.
- IRS Facilitated Self-Assistance Program: IRS-certified volunteers guide you through the process of preparing and filing a simple tax return, free of charge. Find a facilitated self-assistance site .
- Armed Forces Tax Council: The IRS provides free tax help to military personnel and their families. Volunteer tax counselors address tax issues specific to the military including combat-zone tax benefits. Learn more about the Armed Forces Tax Council.
- IRS Free File Program: This free, federal income tax preparation and e-filing program is available to people whose household income is $57,000 or less. Qualified taxpayers can access commercial web software through IRS.gov to complete their federal returns for free.Some Free File Alliance companies offer free state returns, too.
- IRS Free File Fillable Forms: Even if you don’t qualify for the IRS Free File Program, you can still complete your federal return for free using IRS fillable forms, electronic versions of paper IRS tax forms
- Volunteers for Tax Assistance: The VITA program provides free tax help to people who earn $50,000 or less. IRS-certified volunteers provide basic income tax return preparation and ensure taxpayers take advantage of special credits like the Child Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly and Disabled. Take Charge America serves as a qualified VITA filing site in Phoenix, Arizona. Click here to find a VITA location near you or call 1 (800) 906-9887.
- Tax Preparation Services: Companies like H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt provide free tax preparation and filing of simple (1040EZ) federal returns. If your return is not considered “simple,” you can opt to pay your tax prep fee directly out of your refund.
- Online Tax Software: Taxpayers can file free federal returns at numerous tax-preparation websites including taxact.com, etax.com, turbotax.com, freetaxusa.com and hrblock.com . Such websites offer complimentary preparation and filing of 1040EZ forms. Taxpayers can “upgrade” for live web or phone tax support, or to prepare complex returns. State returns are also available for a fee.