When you do not make much money, every penny from your tax refund check is important. You need it to buy food, clothing, and keep a roof over your head. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to fill out their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms correctly. Luckily, there is free help in many communities for low to moderate-income families.
Local Volunteer Programs
Many communities offer free income tax assistance for those with low to moderate incomes. Most sites are in convenient locations, such as libraries and malls, and have evening and weekend hours. For example, in Savannah, Georgia, the Chatham Savannah Asset Development Coalition has more than a dozen sites across the city for those who earn less than $50,000 a year. To see if a program exists in your area, call your state representative or local information office.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has more than 34,600 certified tax preparers and 6,500 locations nationwide, to help low and moderate-income seniors file their income tax returns free. The list of sites across the country is on the AARP website.
Help from the IRS
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help for those who make under $49,000 annually as of 2010. Conveniently located centers are in libraries, community centers and shopping malls.
Local United Way organizations sometimes offer free tax help for lower-income families. As with all tax preparation centers, bring all of your W-2 and 1099 forms, your Social Security number and those of your dependents, and a photo ID. Contact your local United Way office to learn if they offer the service near you.
Theresa Bruno began her writing career as a librarian in 2008. She published an article in "Indiana Libraries" and has written many book reviews for "American Reference Book Annual" and "Reference and User Services Quarterly." Before becoming a writer, Bruno received a bachelor's degree in history/religious studies from Butler University and taught American history at Ivy Tech Community College.