You may be eligible for free tax assistance if you submit a simple tax return, attempt to amend past years’ forms, or owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
There are numerous ways to avoid handling your taxes on your own, ranging from community-based services to free software. Here are six places where you may get free tax guidance.
Legal Clinics that are free or low-cost
Have you recently seen a lot of advertising promoting resolving past tax debt for a fraction of what you owe, but you still can’t afford the fees? Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics may be able to assist. Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic services are free or low-cost depending on income qualifying and can assist taxpayers in IRS disputes.
It is also more likely to be trustworthy than many tax settlement firms.
Qualifying nonprofit organizations and university institutions provide Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics. If you have past tax debt and can’t afford a counsel to negotiate with the IRS to decrease the amount owed, go to the IRS website and look for a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. Inquire with the appropriate clinic in your area about the maximum income levels required to qualify for help, appointment wait times, fees charged, and the types of cases treated. Many clinics have switched to working remotely in reaction to the crisis and shutdown.
Tax Offices of the IRS
If you have tax problems that cannot be resolved online or over the phone, you can make an appointment with your IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. The IRS website has the phone number for your local office.
Free Tax Preparation in the Community
The IRS trains volunteers to assist you in completing your tax returns. While the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has an income cap for most individual taxpayers, current members of the Armed Forces can use it for free regardless of income. Check the IRS website’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance page or call 800-906-9887 to discover a location.
Many VITA facilities are either closed or operating at a reduced capacity due to the crises and lockdowns that began in 2020.
IRS Customer Service Numbers
Regardless of income level, anyone can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 with tax questions. You may call in a dozen or more times with various questions, but you’d most likely be switched to numerous different people. The IRS provides expertise for a variety of questions.
Assume you recently graduated from college and wonder which education tax credits or deductions you can claim on your taxes. The IRS operator would connect you to a specialist in this area. You can also order forms or have W-2s from past years mailed to you. This service is beneficial if you did not submit a previous tax return or if you need to update an older return and have misplaced your W-2s.
Office of the Taxpayer Advocate
When you have a broader problem than filing a return, you should contact the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). TAS assists firms and individuals, regardless of income level, who are experiencing long-term difficulties with a tax issue, such as attempting to address a tax matter from the prior year.
Tax Preparation Software for Free
A variety of companies, regardless of income level, provide free, basic tax software, including:
- H&R Block TaxAct TaxSlayer
- Credit Karma Tax by FreeTaxUSA
- There’s also Free File, the IRS’s own free tax software. To be eligible, you must have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $72,000, whether single or married.
What should you anticipate from free tax software?
The application will compute and electronically file your taxes, deductions, and credits. A free version may not include state tax filing. You should constantly study the program’s description to ensure that it can manage more complex duties, such as company expenses for self-employed individuals. If the free versions do not provide the features you require, you should shop around for a product that does.
If you don’t make enough money to employ an accountant or pay for software, you don’t have to file your taxes yourself. Instead, you may be able to receive free assistance from the IRS tax offices and phone line, volunteer tax preparation centers, and free versions of popular tax preparation software.