Free options to file your taxes

IRS support two programs provides free tax help to underserved groups. One is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, which typically helps people with incomes of $58,000 or less, as well as people with disabilities and limited English speakers. The program works with local community groups and tax season staff offices with IRS-trained volunteers. You can use the IRS locator tool to find a site near you. Many people ask you to make an appointment. (You can also go to GetYourRefund.orga VITA partner helps families with slightly higher incomes – up to $66,000.)

The second is the Seniors Tax Counseling program, which typically provides free tax help to people age 60 and older. This program specializes in tax matters specifically for older adults, such as pensions and retirement-related matters. (Many sites are operated by the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.)

MilTax, a program of the Department of Defense, provides free tax preparation and assistance to service members and their families. The program includes tax software that addresses military-specific questions, such as deployment and combat pay and training.

IRS Free files The program offers free online tax programs for people earning $73,000 or less. The program began in 2003 as a way to make do-it-yourself tax software available to the public, through a treaty between the IRS and Free File Uniona set of commercial suppliers.

But the program is not widely used, in part because the IRS lacks the funds to promote it. While 70% of file people were eligible to use it, only 2.4% did, according to one federal assessment. H&R Block abandoned the federal program in 2020, and last year Intuit, which produces the popular TurboTax program, said it would also be leaving the program. In its regulatory filing, Intuit said it left because the Free Files agreement was changed in 2019 to “remove the IRS’s commitment” that the agency would not provide competitive service.

However, eight software vendors are participating this year, including TaxAct and TaxSlayer. “These companies have good products,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File alliance. Some states also offer free state tax returns through FreeFile.

Mr. Hugo said that surveys have found that the vast majority of users are satisfied with Free File. “People love the product,” he said. “We just need more people to know about it.” Free options to file your taxes

Fry Electronics Team

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