IRS Services - Volunteer Tax Assistance, Toll-Free Telephone, Walk-in Assistance, and Outreach Programs

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The IRS sponsors volunteer assistance programs and offers help to taxpayers in many community locations.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (or VITA), offers free tax help by trained volunteers if you qualify. VITA sites are located at convenient community locations, and volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to individuals with incomes of $35,500 and below. Volunteers prepare Form 1040A (PDF), Form 1040EZ (PDF), and Form 1040 (PDF) with Form 1040, Schedule A&B (PDF).

Trained community volunteers can help you with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly for which you may qualify.

In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, many VITA sites offer free electronic filing (e-file). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper — even faster if you have your refund deposited directly into your bank account.

Learn the locations, dates, and hours of the volunteer sites, by calling the IRS toll-free at (800) TAX-1040 or (800) 829-1040.

Another program, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE), is a grant program designed to offer free tax assistance to individuals age 60 years or older with low to moderate income. TCE sites are located at convenient community locations. TCE counselors offer free income tax return preparation services to the taxpayers 60 and older, and can prepare Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040 Schedules A&B, and simple Form 1040, Schedule D (PDF). The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), participates in the TCE program. To locate the nearest AARP office, visit their web site at http://www.aarp.org/taxaide/home.htm or call 1-888-AARPNOW or (1-888-227-7669). To locate the nearest TCE site call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-TAX-1040 or 1-800-829-1040.

If you plan to take advantage of any of the volunteer assistance programs, be sure to bring photo identification as well as social security cards for you and all your exemptions, your current year's tax package and/or label; all forms, W-2's and 1099's; information for other income; information for all deductions/credits; and a copy of last year's tax return, amounts paid for day care, and bank routing numbers if your are expecting a refund and choose direct deposit.

You can get free telephone assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040. When calling this number, you may ask questions to help you prepare your return, or ask about a notice you may have received. In certain areas, IRS has local offices you may visit to receive assistance.

The Community Outreach Tax Education Program offers free tax seminars to groups of people sharing common tax interests. IRS employees or trained volunteers conduct tax information seminars at convenient times and places in the community. The seminars can cover a variety of topics tailored to the needs of your organization's members and may include films or videotapes and discussion of tax questions.

For information on VITA, TCE, and Community Outreach locations and times, or to volunteer for any of these programs, call 1-800-829-1040.

Source: IRS.gov

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