6 ways to get free help in preparing tax returns

This year tax Day — April 15, reminds MoneyTalksNews. Many Americans pay money for something that they helped prepare and file tax returns. But millions of people do their taxes on their own, without the help of specialists. The publication offers a middle ground — free help with taxes. Here’s how to get it.

6 способов получить бесплатную помощь в подготовке налоговых деклараций

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Many national programs do not charge a fee for assisting taxpayers in preparing and filing taxes. View whether your tax situation and income requirements for these free programs:

1. The help of volunteers

Free IRS sponsored program VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or “volunteers Help with income tax”) uses the work of volunteers ready to help taxpayers complete basic tax returns state and Federal tax returns.

Who is eligible: as a General rule, taxpayers earning $ 56,000 a year or less, people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency, according to the IRS.


  • Use the online search tool, to find out when and where you can get free help VITA (and help in the framework of the “Tax counseling for the elderly”, described below), and also on whether you sign up or you can just come for a consultation. Or call 800-906-9887. The IRS website has a list of what to bring to the meeting.
  • “Self” (“Self-prep”) is one of the alternatives. You should prepare and submit their own basic tax forms state and Federal tax forms using the software for taxation and using volunteers certified by the IRS. Option available in the VITA points that indicate “Self-prep” in the list.
  • Want to volunteer to help with taxes families with low and middle income? The IRS will teach you. Learn more at the IRS website.

2. Tax counseling for the elderly

IRS-certified volunteers provide free tax preparation for elderly taxpayers under the program TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or “Tax counseling for the elderly”). Many volunteers are themselves retirees associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Who is eligible: the IRS saying that the program “offers free tax help to all taxpayers, especially those who are older than 60 years,” with a focus on issues relating to pensions and similar topics related to retirement.


  • Use the online search tool of the IRS to find out when and where you can get free help TCE, and whether you need to schedule an appointment or just come. You can call 800-906-9887. On the web IRS website also has a list of what to bring to the meeting.

3. IRS Free File

Free File is a partnership between IRS and software vendors to prepare commercial taxes participating in the program. Depending on your level of income, taxpayers are free to use one of the following ways:

  • Free File is safe, free proprietary software to prepare tax returns, which includes assistance declarations in the state.
  • Fillable forms Free File. Preparation of tax documents of the state are not included.

Who is eligible: if your income is below a certain level, you are eligible to use Free File. If your income exceeds this mark, you can use the free, fillable electronic versions of paper tax forms. These forms will help to correctly calculate the taxes, but you will only get the basic guidelines.


  • The IRS offers an infographic showing how it works Free File.

4. Free services to companies on preparing taxes

Several commercial companies are working to prepare taxes, offer a free basic online version of their software. Among them TurboTax, TaxAct and H&R Block.

The main advantage of any free tax services is the money saved. However, these services have limitations that vary by product:

  • Some do not offer free assistance with tax returns in the state.
  • Free products are designed for simple tax situations. Before you use a free product, check the website of the company to compare such a product with the costs and characteristics of paid products of the company.
  • You may face hidden charges. For example, you may be charged a fee if you pay taxes with a credit card.

5. MyFreeTaxes.com

MyFreeTaxes.com is a United Way program that offers free tax help through software H&R Block. Help free as with the forms of state and forms of Federal tax. Support is available in English and Spanish.

Who is eligible: individuals or families with a combined household income of less than 66 000 dollars had the right to free assistance in 2018. The limits for the 2019 tax year has not yet been announced.

6. Other free IRS resources

You can get other free help from the IRS. For example, visit your local taxpayer assistance — use this resource to find the closest to you.

Individuals can also call the IRS for help at 800-829-1040 phone; other rooms are available for the enterprises those who have hearing problems or other problems. You can also find on the website IRS.gov tax forms and publications.

The IRS website also offers information about:

  • The preparation and filing of tax returns.
  • Checking and selecting a tax preparer.