Preparing your taxes can be confusing, frustrating and sometimes even exasperating. Accountants and bookkeepers might be too expensive to be an option, leaving people to file their taxes on their own. If this gets complex and confusing, it could mean paying in more than is necessary, getting a diminished tax return, or even getting audited.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a couple of programs that allow for complimentary tax help. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program from the Internal Revenue Service gives free basic tax return preparation to those that are qualified. The IRS also offers Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Here is some information on how these programs work, and how to find out if you qualify.
What Is VITA?
The IRS has been running the VITA program for more than five decades, giving free tax help to those in need of assistance. To qualify for the program in 2022, you must have a household income of $58,000 or less, be a person with disabilities, or be a limited English-speaking taxpayer. This help is generally offered in person at predetermined VITA sites.
There are a few stipulations that can qualify you for help with Households with an income of $58,000 or less in 2022 can file for free through the VITA program. This program provides low-income individuals and families with virtual tax preparation by IRS-certified tax preparers. Those in need of Denver tax preparation services that qualify can take advantage of this service by finding the appropriate locations at the IRS website (irs.gov).
What is TCE?
Another IRS program that has been around even longer than VITA is TCE. This program typically offers tax help to those that are 60 years of age or older. IRS-certified volunteers will provide assistance for this tax prep regarding in-person and electronic filing. The TCE program also provides tax counseling, specializing in tax questions surrounding things like pensions and other retirement-related issues that are generally unique to the senior population.
Both the VITA and TCE service are free, and they come with the expertise of volunteers that must pass appropriate training to ensure they’re working up to and beyond the standards of the IRS. Both of these programs are generally available from January 1 to April 15 each year, so it’s important to find out if you’re eligible as soon as possible.
What Other Resources Are There In Colorado?
The Denver Asset Building Coalition (DABC) operates free tax preparation sites in the City and County of Denver. The DABC has a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic that can provide tax legal services to low-income families. These services are tiered based on income limits depending on the size of your family. Another resource is Get Ahead Colorado, which provides some free tax preparation as well as other resources for families that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Tax returns come with questions. It’s important to know that there are resources out there that can help. For more information on the VITA program, and potentially other programs that could offer assistance, contact the experts with Denver Tax Advisor today.