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View Count: 53 |  Publish Date: February 25, 2014
Daily Money Tip: Special help for filing your taxes
Erin E. Arvedlund Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 1:08 AM
Believe it or not, if you are older or make $52,000 a year or less, the Internal Revenue Service can help you file your taxes - for free.
The IRS has two volunteer programs to help those who make $52,000 a year or less file their taxes: One is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the other is the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, both of which offer free help for qualified taxpayers.
VITA
IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income-tax-return preparation and electronic filing. They can inform you about special tax credits for which you may qualify, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.
VITA sites are generally located at senior centers and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, and shopping malls. Find a site near you by using the VITA Locator Tool on the IRS website (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers) or call 1-800-906-9887. We tried the phone number, and there was a 10-minute wait time.
TCE
The TCE program offers free tax help if you are 60 or older and specializes in questions about pensions and retirement that are unique to seniors. Elderly taxpayers often need help during the normally frantic period for filing federal income tax returns, which is Jan. 1 to April 15 each year.
In addition to face-to-face tax preparation, VITA and TCE volunteers will help those with a simple tax return or those without computer access.
A majority of the TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundations tax-aide program. To locate the nearest location, visit the AARP website (http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/) and use the AARP Site Locator Tool. Or you can telephone the AARP at 1-888-227-7669. The hotline will ask you to enter your zip code to find a location near you. An automated computer voice will tell you the locations and phone numbers, so have a pen ready.
Dont forget the paperwork. You need to bring the following information: proof of identification (photo ID); Social Security cards or your SSN; birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return; wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers; and interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099).
If you are married, both spouses need to be present to sign tax returns.
erinarvedlund@yahoo.com
646-797-0759
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