You know someone who can do your taxes for free? That’s great!—Maybe you even qualify for a free tax preparation services. Dale Carnegie’s magnum opus declared that a person’s own name is among the sweetest sounds for them to hear. One can’t help but argue that “Free” has got to be a close second. Let’s face it: everyone likes the idea of getting their tax preparation done free. And many will qualify. There are several types of options if you’re willing to do a little research…
There are a number of non-profits and government agencies that can provide resources related to free or discounted tax preparation. For example, the main IRS page points out that VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program “offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns…” Similarly, the TCE program offers free tax help to many individuals, especially those over 60 years of age.
In recent years, we’ve even seen an expansion of state agencies collaborating with nonprofits to start free tax filing websites. So besides from VITA and TCE, what are your options? Well the AARP offers some help in the form of several resources such as the Tax-Aide Site Locator. All of these programs and resources have their benefits, and certainly, all of them can help you save a pretty penny.
However, when you have a complicated or urgent tax situation that you need to make sure is resolved correctly, it can be frustrating or even impossible to wait for oft-overwhelmed non-profit organizations or sluggish government agencies. While pessimism is best avoided, it’s important to also be realistic. Even if you qualify for one of the several programs that can help you file your taxes and save some money, these programs are typically on a first-come, first-serve basis—not everyone who applies will be helped. This is an important fact that is naively overlooked all too frequently.
At Business and Financial Solutions, we take a solid stance that when you have the time, you should research these programs and more fully to learn what you qualify for and if they’re right for you. For those who don’t qualify, don’t want to wait, or don’t’ want to take the risk of something going wrong, our mission remains to offer affordable tax preparation services for everyone else.