Volunteer Tax Return Preparation

Are you puzzled by the tax law and which credits and deductions you can take? If so, then why not look into the free, IRS-sponsored, volunteer tax return preparation services?

Note: Many low-income workers and individuals receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement, certain veterans benefits, or a small amount of earned income who usually do not file a tax return may want to utilize IRS free services this year. Individuals who might not otherwise be required to file a 2007 tax return will need to file a return this year to receive an economic stimulus payment. For more information see IRS Fact Sheet FS 2008-16 Stimulus Payments: Instructions for Low-Income Workers and Recipients of Social Security and Certain Veterans'' Benefits.  IRS Fact Sheet 2008-16

For quick refunds, most sites also offer free electronic filing of your tax return. The IRS offers:

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax help to people whose incomes are $40,000 or less. Volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations.

  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) provides free tax help to people aged 60 and older. Trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens. Volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

  • AARP Tax-Aide counseling, part of the IRS-Sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at thousands of sites nationwide during the filing season. Trained and certified AARP Tax-Aide volunteer counselors help people of low-to-middle income with special attention to those aged 60 and older. To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site in your community, call 888-227-7669 (888-AARPNOW) or visit AARP's Web site at www .aarp.org.

Filing your taxes can be easy and free. Take advantage of a volunteer assistance program in your area to receive free income tax preparation assistance. Locations and hours of operation are often available through city information hotlines and local community organizations. Local volunteer tax preparation site information is also available by calling the IRS toll-free number 1-800-829-1040.

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov.  Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is www .irs.gov.