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Tax Season....

Free Tax Help

There are lots of free tax help programs out there for people who need it. The IRS offers a guide of tax services. Some highlights:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)

VITA offers free tax help for low-to-moderate income earners ($42,000 and below) who cannot prepare their own returns. To locate the nearest VITA site, call (800) 829-1040.

Tax Counseling for Seniors

According to the IRS, 90 million people filed their taxes electronically in 2008. There are many advantages to e-filing your taxes – it’s easier, it reduces the risk of error and you’ll receive your refund faster (especially if you use direct deposit to receive your refund electronically). According to the IRS, e-filing is “virtually error-proof with an error rate of less than one percent.” There are three ways to e-file:

Go to a Tax Professional

See an authorized e-file provider who can electronically file e-files your taxes for you, usually at a fee. Fees may vary depending on the tax professional you choose and the specific services requested.

Do it Yourself on your Computer

Use purchased / free software on your home computer.

Free File (IRS)

If you made less than $56,000 in 2008, you can e-file your taxes directly with the IRS through their Free File program. It offers:

  • Free service
  • Services in English / Spanish
  • Automatic accuracy checks
  • Quick refunds (sometimes less than 10 days)

Note: Free File only works with your Federal taxes – you still need to file your state taxes.

Free tax help for senior citizens from trained volunteers. Call (888) 227-7669 to locate an AARP Tax-Aide site in your neighborhood.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs)

LITCs provide help to low income taxpayers, either free or at nominal cost. Some non-English assistance provided. The IRS has more information on low income tax clinics in your area.

Military Personnel Resources

The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) offers free tax help for members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and their families. Visit this IRS page for general information about notifying the IRS on overseas deployment, and learn about combat zone tax benefits and other items.

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