Last month, families received the tax documents they need to prepare their 2010 tax returns and claim valuable tax benefits for which they may be eligible. Now is the perfect time to let families know about free tax preparation services that may be available in their community.
The IRS sponsors the VITA program, which offers free tax help for families earning around $49,000 or less, and, in partnership with AARP, the Tax Aide program, which assists elderly tax filers in communities around the country. In addition, the military coordinates VITA services. Many VITA or Tax Aide sites offer e-filing, which allows families to receive their refunds even faster.
- Most free tax preparation sites are open and running right now. To locate a VITA or Tax-Aide site in your area, call (800) 906-9887. You can also click here for a list of VITA sites or here to locate Tax-Aide sites.
- Many sites are appointment-only or have specified drop-in hours, so check with each one for their schedules.
- Families need to bring specific information and documents to VITA or TCE/Tax-Aide sites.
- Beware of scams!!!! Remind families not to give out Social Security Numbers or bank information over the phone, or to individuals who come to their homes claiming to be IRS representatives, or in response to emails. There are a lot of scammers out there around tax time!
For more information on free tax preparation services, please visit the IRS’ webpage. And for families who exceed the VITA programs’ income limit, or who for other reasons want to use a private tax preparer, the IRS has information about how to choose a reputable tax professional.
As always, we encourage you to make full use of NWLC’s tax credits outreach materials, including state and federal fliers, an outreach tip sheet and a sample newsletter article.
Thanks again for helping to spread the word about tax credits in your community.