Having problems preparing your tax return? Take heart, help is available—for free in many cases. Lay down your pencil, gather up your paperwork and check out one of these programs.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). If your annual income is less than $38,000, trained volunteers can help you complete and file your tax return. Look for VITA sites at your local library, shopping mall, school or community center.
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Are you sixty or older? The IRS sponsors this program in conjunction with nonprofit organizations such as AARP to answer questions about taxes and offer assistance with your return.
- Armed Forces Tax Council. Serving in the military? Volunteers are available on military bases to provide tax advice and preparation to you and your family.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Is your return complicated? If you’re eligible for VITA assistance, you may be able to get a referral to a CPA who’s willing to donate time and offer professional advice. When your tax issue involves a catastrophic event such as a hurricane, check with FEMA for the name of a CPA volunteer.