Many people dread tax season, but doing your taxes does not have to be difficult or expensive. You may file your taxes for free and get no-cost tax assistance with a quick online search. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides completely free tax software and assistance through programs called Free File and VITA.
In addition, the AARP and some well-known tax companies also provide free help and computer programs that can help you get your taxes done the right way, for no fees at all. Keep reading below to learn more about different tax assistance programs that may be available to you.
The IRS has two programs — VITA and Free File — that offer free tax prep and free tax filing software to those who need it. Depending on your income level, you may be able to use one or both of these services.
VITA, which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a government initiative funded by non-profit grants that provides free, in-person help with filing your taxes. People who volunteer with VITA are certified by the IRS to provide accurate tax help and maintain confidentiality.
Requirements to use VITA can change depending on which volunteer site that you would like to go to. But in general, you will need to meet one of the following conditions to get free tax assistance from a VITA volunteer:
- Your yearly income must be less than $60,000.
- You have a disability.
- You need help with the English language.
Free File is the IRS’ online portal of free tax software programs, which are provided by accounting companies through a partnership with the IRS called the Free File Alliance. Free File is beneficial for people who make less than $73,000 per year.
If you make $73,000 or less in yearly income, then you are among the millions of Americans who may be able to file their taxes at no cost through Free File.
You can still use Free File if you make more than $73,000 a year, but the software available to you will be less extensive and will not include any guidance. The Free File form will be the electronic version of a typical 1040 form. However, using Free File’s electronic software may make completing the form easier for you.
Be sure to visit the IRS website to use these programs. Discover more information about VITA and Free File on the next slide. You’ll learn more about the documents and information you will need to get started,.