If the idea of doing your taxes is daunting to you, you may want to look on line for some help. Here are some tips on where to find it. The best part, some of the resources out there are free.
Doing your taxes can stump even the brainiest among us, but there are ways to get help for free.
First, there's the IRS free file. It gives you free access to tax preparation software. It's available to anyone who makes $58-thousand dollars a year or less. That means 70% of American taxpayers, or about 100 million people, can get it!
21 states also have free file programs to help taxpayers file state returns.
Now if you make too much money to qualify for free file, you can use fillable forms, also part of the free file program. Fillable forms do the math for you, and anyone can use them for free, but you don't get any tax guidance, so they won't tell you if you've missed an important deduction.
Of course, both of those assume you're comfortable using a computer to do your taxes.
So if you want face to face help, you've got a couple of options.
To start, there's the volunteer income tax assistance program.
Congress puts more than 11-million dollars into this program, to make sure low-to-moderate income people can get help from trained volunteers. You qualify if you make $49-thousand dollars a year or less.
There's also free in-person help for Americans age 60 and older, It's called the "tax counseling for the elderly program".
One of the big participants is AARP. It provides free tax help at more than 7,000 locations nationwide.
And finally, you've probably seen the commercials, this year H&R Block will do your federal taxes for free through February 15th-- as long as you have a simple return. That means no dependents, no itemized deductions, and income that are less than $100-thousand a year.
Sure, there are a lot of caveats to this H&R offer -- but if you fit the bill, it could be a really great deal!