Preparing and filing taxes can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but you don’t have to go through the process alone. Various organizations are available to offer tax relief. They can help with preparing your tax return as well as filing it. You can receive counseling and advice to give you peace of mind that your tax return is accurate, that you don’t pay too much in taxes, and that you receive the full refund you’re entitled to.
They aren't popular, but they can be helpful. The IRS offers several resources for tax help. On their website you can find information to determine whether income tax withheld from your paycheck is too high or too low. You can use the EITC Assistant to determine whether you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The alternative minimum tax assistant can help determine whether you might be subject to alternative minimum tax. In addition, you can search the website to find an authorized e-file provider to electronically file your taxes for free.
The VITA and TCE Programs
If you make less than $53,000 a year, are elderly or disabled, or speak only a little English, the IRS offers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) to assist taxpayers who need help preparing their tax returns. Tax return preparation and filing is free to those who qualify. Those over age 60 qualify for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. In addition to offering free tax preparation, The TCE can answer questions and offer counseling regarding retirement and pension-related issues.
Tax Preparation Organizations
Another way to get help is to contact tax preparation organizations such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax services. They do charge a fee, but using them can be valuable if you feel more comfortable letting a professional handle your taxes. H&R Block offers a free service called Second Look in which they review a return you prepared yourself or had prepared by someone else. The review will ensure you have taken advantage of all the credits and tax deductions available to you. Even tax returns from previous years are eligible for review. Many tax preparation companies also offer Rapid Refund. They work with finance companies who will loan you money against your tax refund so you can get your money faster, typically within one or two days after filing your tax return.
Whether you opt to take advantage of the free tax help available or decide to pay a tax professional, there are many options to choose from that can offer tax relief.