May 4, 2007, Newsletter Issue #63: Free Tax Preparation

Tip of the Week

Some tax preparation services provide free tax income tax preparation. There usually are stipulations and qualifications that taxpayers must meet in order to use the free services. If you visit the IRS website, there are links to service providers who allow you to prepare and submit your tax return for free.

Another free income tax preparation program offered by the IRS is known as VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Specially trained and certified community volunteers across the country are preparing tax returns for those who either cannot afford it themselves or are unable to do it themselves. There are centers/sites throughout the United States. Usually located in local communities, they are found in libraries, grocery stores, etc. To qualify for the VITA program, you would need to have a gross income of less than $39,000. Also, your tax return needs to be basic in nature. They can, however, help you if you qualify for some special credits such as an Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly.

The TCE (tax counseling for the elderly) is another free tax preparation program offered by the IRS. Of course, it concentrates on the tax needs of the lower income elderly population. This program involves trained volunteers from local nonprofits assisting senior citizens with their basic income tax return preparation. The program also offers tax advice and assistance. The volunteer tax preparers associated with this program are usually retired tax professionals who receive grants to perform these services on a nationwide basis. The TCE has a special program titled TaxAide, which is run in conjunction with the
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). More information on this program by be obtained via the AARP website or the IRS website.

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