“. . . in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. . . .”
Benjamin Franklin, 1789.1
With the IRS announcing January 23 as the first date for accepting 2022 tax returns, the 2023 tax season is now open. For most Americans, filing deadlines for 2022 taxes are Tuesday, April 18, 2023 and Monday, October 16, 2023 for those filing an extension using Form 4868 and paying all taxes due by April 18.
Many Americans find tax rules and forms complex and confusing and may turn to professionals for help with preparation and filing. When using a professional is not possible, FREE basic preparation and advice is available to those who qualify through volunteer organizations and the IRS.
Here is a list of tax preparation assistance resources:
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). IRS-certified volunteers provide preparation services to older Americans, low- and moderate-income filers, people with disabilities and those with limited English language skills. Generally, taxpayers must have an annual income below $60,000 to qualify. Call 800-906-9887 or check the IRS website to find a nearby VITA site using the Locator Tool. Iowa residents may find VITA locations using the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance website provided by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Human Sciences.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Tax preparation assistance is available to those 60 and older from IRS-certified volunteers. For more information and locations, call 888-227-7669 or check the AARP Tax-Aide Locator or the IRS website.
IRS Free File. Taxpayers with income below $73,000 are eligible to file federal tax returns online through the IRS Free File. To browse options and confirm eligibility, visit IRS Free File: Do Your Taxes for Free.
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). Help is also available at IRS offices that host a Taxpayer Assistance Center. Check the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center site to find a location offering this service.
MilTax Filing Service. Mil Tax from Military OneSource and the Department of Defense provide easy-to-use tax preparation and free e-filing software to active duty military personnel and select others, including spouses, dependent children and survivors. Tax pro consultants are available to provide 24/7 phone assistance at 800-342-9647. For more information, check the Military OneSource website.
Do-It-Yourself Online Options. Several for-profit tax software providers, H&R Block, TurboTax, Credit Karma, TaxAct, Free File USA, and TaxSlayer offer free online filing tools for simple returns. Check their individual websites to see if their offerings fit your needs.
Additional resources may be found at the 211Iowa website for Iowa residents and at Free Tax Preparation Sites and Resources provided by the University of Minnesota Extension for Minnesota residents; resources are available in both in Spanish and English.
Before you GO –
- Call for an appointment or request an appointment online.
- Check on what to bring to the appointment. Use this list provided by the IRS to get started.
- Open a bank account if necessary. If you are without a bank account, visit the FDIC GetBanked website to find a bank where you can open an account (local or online) for paying taxes and/or for direct refund deposit.
Resources used in this blog in order of citation:
- Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers, IRS
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Iowa, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Human Sciences
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator, AARP
- IRS Free File: Do Your Taxes for Free, IRS.
- Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs), Contact Your Local IRS Office.
- Miltax Free Software and Support, Military OneSource
- Tax Preparation Assistance, 211Iowa
- Free tax preparation sites and resources, University of Minnesota Extension
- What to Bring to Your Local VITAs or TCE Site, IRS
- #GetBanked, FDIC
1 Sparks, Jared (1856). The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. X (1789-1790). Macmillan. p. 410.