Haven’t filed your tax return yet? If you requested an extension, you may qualify for free IRS assistance services

About 19 million people have requested an extension — until October 17, 2022 — to file their 2021 taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you are one of them, you don’t have to wait until mid-October to file your application. Filing as soon as possible can help you avoid delays in processing your return.

Need help? There are several resources available for free to many people, including seniors:

Options for free tax preparation

  • Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) Program — The IRS provides free tax preparation assistance to millions of people each year through its Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

    In place for more than half a century, VITA is designed to help seniors, people with disabilities, people with low to moderate incomes (less than $58,000 per year), and taxpayers who speak limited English.

    Find a VITA location near you and keep in mind what you need to bring with you if you visit one of these locations in person.

  • Tax Counseling Program for the Elderly (TCE) – Also offered through the IRS through specially trained volunteers, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is for seniors age 60 and older. The program provides seniors with free help with preparing tax returns.

    Search online for a TCE program site in your area.

  • Free file program – If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, consider checking out the IRS’ Free File program, which has been around since 2003. Free file providers let you use tax preparation software for free and don’t not charge you for online preparation or e-mail. – the filing of your federal income tax return.

    Even if your income is above the $73,000 threshold, you can still access Free File’s IRS electronic forms for free that you can file yourself.

    Learn more about free file provider services on the IRS website.

Many taxpayers will typically pay several hundred dollars for a professional to prepare and file their taxes each year. In the future, this system may change. With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, $15 million was allocated for research focused on creating a national tax filing service that would be free to US taxpayers.

Last modification: 08/19/2022

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