If you are having a lot of difficulty with understanding how to file your taxes, then you may benefit from in-person tax assistance through VITA. To find a VITA volunteer location you can use the online VITA Locator on the IRS website.
Once you find a site, it is probably a good idea to call to double-check the hours, verify if you qualify for free help, and to check whether making an appointment is an option. If you cannot find a VITA location that is convenient for you, then you may want to consider Free File to get online tax guidance and file your taxes for free.
The VITA program is operated by volunteers who work with eligible organizations that partner with the IRS. It is a free opportunity to get personalized tax help. Volunteers are trained to handle taxes and will keep everything confidential.
Free File – the electronic filing option – does not offer the same personalized help as VITA, but it is still a helpful option. If you make $73,000 or less, Free File will offer you Guided Tax Preparation. The software will ask you some basic questions, and you may qualify for a free federal return, as well as free state returns in some states.
If you make over $73,000, you can still use Free File to submit a free federal tax return, but you will not receive the same guided preparation.
Regardless of what program you choose to file your taxes, you will need certain documents and information to finish your tax returns.
Below is the main information and paperwork that you will need to supply in order to fill out tax forms:
- Income statements, such as W2s or 1099s
- Your state of residence
- Your Age
- Your Adjusted Gross Income
- Whether you qualify for an earned income tax credit
- Your military status
- Any income adjustments
- Your current filing status
- Dependent information, if applicable.
In addition, you will need identification documents including photo identification and Social Security cards. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to provide other documents such as money paid for day care and other relevant expenses.
Aside from VITA and Free File, there are many other options out there when it comes to filing your taxes for free. Some of these programs are designed for specific groups such as military or senior tax filers.
If you are in the military or are above age 50, there are even more options for free tax software and guidance available to you. Discover some of these no-cost resources on the next slide.