Tax preparation is both time-consuming and costly. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), on the other hand, does not bill taxpayers to file returns. However, you will spend money on preparation services. If you are familiar with the filing procedure, you can file your tax returns on the IRS website in minutes.
Do you know how to file your taxes for free? There are many tax services that will help you to file your taxes without spending anything.
There are programs put in place that offer free essential tax return services for particular groups of individuals. Programs such as the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) are specifically put in place to help specific groups of people file their returns. This program caters to people who fall in any of the following categories:
1. Persons with disabilities
2. Taxpayers who speak little to no English
3. People who earn $57,000 or less
The Tax Counselling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides free tax advice to people aged 60 and up. It generally focuses on pension schemes and retirement issues that are common among the elderly.
Other than VITA and TCE, there are several other ways you can file your returns without spending a dime. Read on for more information on how and where you can successfully file your taxes for free.
Reliable Sources for Free Tax Advice
Before you start filing your returns, you need to understand how the tax filing system works. You can seek advice from any of the following sources for free.
1. IRS Taxpayers Assistance Centers
Your local IRS office is a gold mine of information. All you need to do is make a call and enquire about filing taxes.
Alternatively, you can physically visit their offices and have a one-on-one with a tax officer. If you choose to visit their offices, remember to bring all relevant documentation such as proof of identification and W-2 forms.
2. Free Legal Clinics
Low-income taxpayer clinics are very cheap and sometimes free of charge. You can get a variety of tax advice from these clinics.
3. Taxpayer Advocate Service
If you are having financial constraints and can't pay your taxes on time, you can approach the Taxpayers Advocate Services for help. They will advise you on the best way forward, absolutely free of charge.
4. Miltax Program
This is a valuable resource for you if you are in the military. It also serves your spouse and dependent children. The Miltax filing service offers tax-related advice free of charge to individuals in the military. You can reach them over the phone via their helpline.
5. The Library
Yes, you will find all tax-related info in your local library. There are hundreds of resources on how to file your returns correctly. Luckily, you don't need a computer to access this information as most libraries have them on paper.
6. Online Tax Filing Websites
The web is vast. You will find all the info you need about taxes and how to file them properly. Examples of online tax preparation websites include Credit Karma tax, DIY tax, and TaxSlayer Simply Free.
Once you get sufficient data on how best to file your returns, you can now go ahead and file your tax returns for free. The following are reliable ways to get your taxes done for free.
Reliable Ways To Get Your Taxes Done For Free
Here are a few ways to file your tax returns free.
1. IRS Free File
The IRS free file program is a collaboration between the IRS and the Free File Alliance. It was established in 2003 to help low-income earners prepare their state and federal tax returns for free.
It aims to provide free tax preparation software. You must have a gross income of less than $72,000 to use Free File.
With the Free file, you are eligible to use any of the following services for free:
Tax forms which you can fill in, although tax preparation is not included
Tax preparation software which includes support with state tax returns
If your income exceeds $72,000, you can only use the electronic version of the fillable forms.
2. Tax Preparation Companies
Some companies charge for tax return services. Fortunately, companies like TaxSlayer, TaxAct, and TurboTax offer free essential tax preparation services.
However, there may be limitations to these services. For example, these companies don't offer any assistance with state returns. You have to do those yourself. Other limitations include:
You can only take care of simple tax situations. Complicated tax scenarios such as overdue tax returns will require you to pay for the service.
Your run the risk of hidden fees. This usually happens if you use a credit or debit card to pay your tax bill.
3. Myfree taxes.com
This service includes free tax preparation using H&R Block software. The upside of this is that it provides both federal and state tax forms. Spanish speakers have an advantage because this program provides support in both English and Spanish.
You are eligible for this service if you have a combined income of less than $66,000.
4. AARP Tax-Aide
This program offers free tax filing services to people with low to moderate incomes. It provides remote and in-person tax assistance. It also targets people over the age of 50. The AARP Tax-Aide service is available all year to assist with any tax-related issues.
5. The Armed Forces Tax Council
The Armed Forces Tax Council is similar to the VITA program. Military personnel can get free tax preparation here. People who work in the Air force, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard are eligible for this program's tax services.
Many programs and institutions offer free tax preparation assistance. You first need to identify your particular need before checking what programs you are eligible for.
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