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Best Ways to Get Free Tax Help from the IRS

IRS Tax Tip 2014-20, February 25, 2014

Update Oct. 27, 2014: The IRS.gov link in the first item below changed from "1040 Central" to "Filing Your Taxes."

Many of us need information when preparing our federal tax returns. We have questions about dependents, which forms to use and how to claim a credit.
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Here are the best ways to get free help from the IRS: 

  • Visit the IRS on the Web.  The IRS.gov website is your one-stop tax shop. Start at ‘Filing Your Taxes.’ Before you go anywhere else, look here for tips and information that will help you file your federal tax return. This page has links to information about filing options, the latest news and frequently asked questions.

    You will also find links to a number of online tools like the Interactive Tax Assistant and the IRS Tax Map for answers to your tax questions. Use ’Where’s My Refund?’ to check on your refund or use the EITC Assistant to see if you’re eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can also get all the forms and publications you need 24x7.

  • Use IRS Free File to do your taxes.  Everyone can use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their federal tax return for free. IRS Free File is available exclusively on IRS.gov. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.

    If you made $58,000 or less, you can use Free File tax software to e-file your tax return. The software is easy to use and will guide you through the steps of filing your taxes. If your income is more than $58,000 and you’re comfortable doing your own taxes, you can use Free File Fillable Forms. This program is the electronic version of IRS paper forms.

  • Get tax help in your community.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps people who make $52,000 or less prepare and file their tax returns for free. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offers help mainly to people 60 or older. AARP is part of the TCE program and helps taxpayers with low-to-moderate incomes.

    VITA sites are located in neighborhoods all over the USA. Visit IRS.gov and enter ‘VITA’ in the search box. Then click ‘Free Tax Return Preparation for You’ to locate a VITA or TCE site near you.

If you don't have Internet access you can call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to order IRS forms and publications. You can check the status of your refund by calling 800-829-4477. Call the same number to hear taped messages on more than 150 tax topics. You can find the closest VITA site by calling the IRS at 800-906-9887.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Oct-2014