Income tax preparation is complex and many taxpayers face hardship when working out their taxes. It is for this reason that eligible taxpayers can enjoy the free IRS volunteer tax return preparation programs that are run by community-based organizations and groups. Discussed below are key things you should understand about these programs.
The Volunteers Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are sponsored by the IRS. The VITA program caters to low income taxpayers who earn no more than $49,000 per year. Taxpayers can further enjoy electronic filing in most VITA centers at no cost.
Seniors aged 60 years and above can access free tax preparation help from Tax Counseling for the Elderly centers. The community volunteers that work in both VITA and TCE centers are trained by the IRS on how well they can offer the taxpayers the much needed assistance. Some of the special credits that qualified taxpayers can expect and enjoy include; the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit as well as the Credit for the Elderly.
Another important fact about the free IRS volunteer tax assistance is that taxpayers with partial understanding of English can still be helped by language specialists from the volunteer sites. Over 12, 000 sites are operational in 2012 and the IRS has enhanced its support for such initiatives and continues to collaborate with nonprofits and the community based organizations that offer the crucial tax services to deserving citizens.
AARP is a unit of the TCE program with more than 6,000 operational sites across the country especially during the tax filing time of the year. Low-to-moderate income taxpayers, especially those aged 60 years and above, are assisted by qualified and specialized AARP Tax-Help volunteers.
The military department is another category that associates with the taxman in provision of tax help, especially to military officers and family members at no cost. The Armed Forces Tax Council is made up of Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, with each group having tax program coordinators. Volunteers assisting the military are well trained and capable of handling tax issues like combat zone tax reimbursements that are military specific. This ensures that the services are tailored to suit the special groups that need the services.
You can access the volunteer site locations plus their operation hours via various city information and local community organizations. To find a local VITA site, check the IRS website or call1-800-906-9887; it is free. To find the AARP Tax-Aide site nearby, call 1-888-227-7669 (888-AARPNOW) or check their website for additional information.