As the start of tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers to start thinking about who will prepare their 2017 federal tax return. Tax season opens January 29! No matter who prepares it, by signing the return, the taxpayer becomes legally responsible for the accuracy of all information included.
Free Tax Preparation
Each year, millions of tax returns are prepared for free by taxpayers using IRS Free File, which lets taxpayers who earned less than $66,000 prepare and e-file a return for free.
Those who earned more than $66,000 are still eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. This more basic Free File option is best for people who are comfortable preparing their own tax returns.
IRS trained and certified volunteers at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA and TCE) sites nationwide offer free tax preparation and e-filing. VITA offers free tax return preparation to taxpayers who earn $54,000 or less. The TCE program is mainly for people age 60 or older and focuses on tax issues unique to seniors. AARP participates in the TCE program and helps taxpayers with low to moderate incomes.
- To find the closest VITA site, visit IRS.gov and search the word “VITA.” Or download the IRS2Go app on your smartphone. Site information is also available by calling the IRS at 800-906-9887.
- To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP’s website, or call 888-227-7669. There are also VITA and TCE sites that provide bilingual help for taxpayers who have limited English skills.