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IRS VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) AND TAX COUNSELING FOR THE ELDERLY (TCE) PROGRAMS

WHATFree tax return preparation and help for older adults both in-person and online.
WHYTo help seniors receive money in tax refunds or credits which they are owed and to help navigate what may be a complicated and expensive task depending on individual circumstance.
WHEREInternal Revenue Service (IRS).
Across the USA.


Program Description


“While the IRS manages the VITA and TCE programs, the VITA/TCE sites are operated by IRS partners and staffed by volunteers who want to make a difference in their communities. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.”

“Tax return preparation assistance is provided to elderly taxpayers during the normal period for filing Federal income tax returns, which is from January 1 to April 15 each year. However, the program activities required to make sure elderly taxpayers receive efficient and quality tax assistance can be conducted
year-round.”

-irs.gov

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

Free tax preparation and filing of tax returns for those who:

  • Generally have an income of $58,000 or less.
  • Persons with disabilities.
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides free tax help for seniors over the age of 60 and specializes in tax preparation with respect to pensions and retirement issues. The program has a tax helpline for seniors 1-800-906-9887.

Tax preparation volunteers receive training that meets IRS standards including maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of taxpayer information.

Seniors can find a free tax preparation site near by using the IRS’s Get Free Tax Prep Help locator

The IRS Tax Guide for Seniors (Publication 550) provides helpful information for seniors looking for help on how to file tax returns, what tax refunds and credits they may be eligible for and how to get tax help.

  • Filing Requirements Taxable and Nontaxable Income.
  • Retirement Plan Distributions.
  • Social Security.
  • Retirement Benefits.
  • Sickness and Injury Benefits.
  • Life Insurance Proceeds.
  • Sale of Home.
  • Reverse Mortgages.
  • Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) Contributions and Deductions.
  • Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit.
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC).
  • How To Get Tax Help.
  • Before arriving at a free tax preparation and tax filing location the IRS asks individuals to bring the following documents if applicable:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents. 
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number.
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN.
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return.
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers.
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099).
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received.
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available.
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check.
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number.
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements.
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable.
    source: irs.treasury.gov

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    Find out more about the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs



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