For low-income individuals and families, finding free tax preparation services is of critical importance. According to the IRS, those who make $66,000 or less per year are eligible for free tax preparation assistance. But many people don’t know where to start their search for free assistance. In this article, we’ll explore some of the options that are available to help ensure that you can get your taxes filed – and without spending a penny.
5 Nonprofits That Offer Free Tax Preparation Services
Nonprofits are a great resource for free tax preparation assistance. Many organizations offer these services to individuals and families in their community. Some examples include:
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, run by the IRS
- The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, also run by the IRS
- The United Way network
- The AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program
- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Each organization offers different services, depending on their funding and their focus. Many nonprofit organizations can help with everything from basic tax preparation to more complex tax issues, so it’s worth checking out what’s available in your local community.
How to Find Pro Bono Tax Preparers in Your Community
Pro bono tax preparation services are another resource that low-income individuals and families can use to get their taxes filed for free. Pro bono services are typically provided by individual professionals or organizations that are dedicated to providing free assistance to those who need it. To find these services in your community, consider contacting local organizations like community centers, schools, or churches. You can also search online for pro bono tax preparation services.
When looking for pro bono services, it’s important to ask questions about the professional’s experience and expertise. You want to be sure that you’re working with someone who is knowledgeable and has experience working with individuals in similar financial situations.
DIY Tax Preparation: Doing Your Taxes for Free
DIY tax preparation is an increasingly popular option for individuals and families who want to save money and take control of their finances. There are a number of free tax preparation services available online, like TurboTax, TaxAct, and H&R Block. These services offer step-by-step guidance, and many can help you file your taxes for free if you have a simple tax return.
Of course, DIY tax preparation isn’t for everyone. If you have a more complex financial situation (like multiple sources of income or investments), hiring a professional may be a better option. But if your taxes are relatively straightforward, DIY tax preparation can be a great way to save money and learn more about your finances.
Banking on Free Tax Preparation: Banks and Credit Unions That Offer Tax Help
Did you know that some banks and credit unions offer free tax preparation services to their customers or members? For example, Bank of America offers free tax preparation through their partnership with H&R Block. Similarly, many credit unions also offer tax preparation assistance.
If you already have an account with a bank or credit union that offers this service, it’s worth looking into. The benefit of working with your financial institution is that they already have some of your financial information on file, which can make the tax preparation process go more smoothly.
The Best Free Tax Preparation Services for Low-Income Individuals
For low-income individuals and families, there are a few key resources that are worth exploring:
- The IRS’s Free File program
- The VITA program (run by the IRS)
- The TCE program (also run by the IRS)
- The Tax-Aide program (run by the AARP Foundation)
Each of these programs is designed specifically to help low-income individuals file their taxes for free. They may have specific eligibility requirements, such as income limits or age restrictions, so it’s important to check their websites for more information.
If you’re in need of free tax preparation assistance, there are a variety of resources available to you. From nonprofits to banks to DIY tax preparation software, there are a number of options that can help you get your taxes filed without breaking the bank. Be sure to research the resources that are available in your community – you may be surprised at what you find.
It’s important to remember that filing your taxes is a critical element of your financial health. By taking advantage of free tax preparation services, you can help ensure that you’re in good financial shape for the year ahead.
- IRS Free File program: https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free
- VITA/TCE program: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-qualifying-taxpayers
- AARP Tax-Aide program: https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/
- Bank of America free tax prep: https://www.bankofamerica.