By Debbie Gregory.
The bad news is that the tax deadline will be here before we know it. But the good news is that not only do we have until April 18th to file instead of April 15th (due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., falling on Friday, April 15) there is free tax preparation assistance available to veterans, seniors, and low-income earners.
The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are available to taxpayers who earned less than $54,000 in 2015. All tax returns completed through VITA are prepared by IRS certified volunteers, so you can feel confident your tax return is accurate. Even better, there are over 12,000 convenient locations across the country. To find the VITA location nearest you, enter your zip code into the easy-to-use VITA/TCE Locator at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.
Another free service is MyFreeTaxes, managed by the United Way, with assistance from legacy partners, National Disability Institute and Goodwill Industries International, and sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation. MyFreeTaxes operates the only free online tax preparation and filing assistance platform available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.. The services are available to those who earned $62,000 or less in 2015, allows qualified Veterans, active-duty military, their families and all other qualifying taxpayers to file both a federal and state tax return, absolutely free. In addition to e-filing, MyFreeTaxes also provides in-person help to individuals and families earning $20,000 or less in 2015. For more information, please visit: www.myfreetaxes.com.
The IRS.gov/FreeFile allows taxpayers to choose from a variety of industry-leading tax software options in order to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. If you earned $62,000 or less last year, you are eligible to choose from among 13 software products. If you earned more, you are still eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms.