Tax season is the time period between Jan 1 and April 15 of each year. You can avoid paying hefty fees to tax experts and software providers who assist you in filing your taxes, even though you cannot (legally) avoid paying the taxes you owe.
This is due to the abundance of free tools available to assist you in filing your taxes, particularly for taxpayers with low and moderate incomes as well as those who are 60 years of age or older.
Anyone who lives or works in New York City and had a household income of less than $80,000 or less than $56,000 for single filers in the prior tax year are qualified for several free tax preparation services, regardless of immigration status.
This applies to appointments with IRS-licensed volunteer preparers either in person or online. Likewise, some tax preparation businesses in the city are giving independent contractors free tax advice. According to Vilda Vera Mayuga, commissioner of the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, who is in charge of the project, it is the first free tax preparation program for independent contractors in the country.
People can save a significant sum of money by forgoing the services of hired preparers, Mayuga told USA TODAY. We genuinely want everyone to receive every single cent to which they are legally entitled without sharing it with anyone else.
Nevertheless, the closer April 18 (the end of 2023 tax season) gets, the harder it will be to schedule an appointment for free tax preparation services like those provided in New York City.
Read More: Tax Refunds And Stimulus Payments May Appear To Be Junk Mail.
Risk On Using Tax Refunds To Pay Off Bills And Debt
What more should you know about free tax preparation services?
The Volunteer Income Tax Help and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs are two of the IRS’s largest free tax preparation services.
Those who make less than $60,000 annually, have a disability, or have trouble speaking English should apply for Volunteer Income Tax Help. For those 60 and older who frequently require assistance with concerns relating to retirement and pensions, Tax Counseling for the Elderly is available.
Both programs are administered by partners across the nation, including the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in New York City, and staffed by IRS-certified volunteers.
The IRS stated in an online article that “all VITA/TCE volunteers who prepare returns must undergo and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards.” Maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information is part of this training.
On the free tax preparation services offered by New York City, Mayuga remarked, “You don’t receive lower quality or fewer services just because this happens to be free.”
By entering your ZIP code here, you may locate the closest VITA or TCE center.
The IRS advises you to bring your Social Security card, a photo ID, and any W-2s or 1099 forms you may have gotten from your job or employers, among other things.
Check out this IRS pamphlet to learn more about the services these facilities offer (and don’t offer).
IRS Free File
Do you like to complete your taxes in the convenience of your home? The service you should utilize this tax season is IRS Free File in that instance.
Compared to Volunteer Income Tax Help, IRS Free File has a higher income threshold of $73,000 but offers less individualized assistance. To complete your federal income tax return and, in some situations, your state income tax return, IRS Free File gives you access to online guided tax prep software.
These services are provided by seven tax software providers, including TaxACT and TaxSlayer, who are a part of the Free File Alliance. More than 68 million returns have been filed in this manner since 2003, according to the Alliance’s website.
Visit this link to learn more about the program and how to start using it.
Fillable files for free
Although you cannot use the IRS’s free services if your income was above $73,000 in the previous year, the government does offer free online fillable tax forms as a type of compensation.
Free Version of Turbo Tax
Limited free tax preparation services are available from TurboTax and are targeted at “taxpayers with uncomplicated returns only,” according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant employed by the company. With a 1040 income form, a simple tax return is one that can be submitted “without having to attach any forms or schedules,” according to the tax advisor.
The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and student loan interest can all be claimed with the free edition, but more complicated credits and deductions that call for additional paperwork cannot be claimed. Also, if you’re submitting an itemized return, you cannot use the free version.
Read More: 23 Celebrities Found Guilty Of Tax Evasion
Six Factors To Consider When Choosing A Tax Professional
Do I Need To Submit A Tax Return For Social Security Payments?
12 Non-Taxable Forms Of Passive Income
Free H&R Block Edition
A free online DIY tax filing service is provided by H&R Block. There are no minimum income criteria to use the service, just as TurboTax. However, there are restrictions on what data you may enter into the software’s free edition. For instance, it won’t accept documents that you use to declare your cryptocurrency sales or revenue from investments.
However, H&R Bloc’s free edition allows you to declare unemployment income using form 1099-G, unlike TurboTax.