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Where do I Find Free Tax Help?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 June 2018
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Any country that requires people to file yearly income tax statements and perhaps to pay taxes may have ways for people to find free tax help. Sometimes these services are offered directly through the government, while at other times private organizations may step in to give free tax help. In addition to free services, there are numerous inexpensive methods for filling taxes, such as using computer software that allows people to fill out tax forms and electronically file them, or efile them.

For those filing their taxes in the United States, organizations like the US Internal Revenue Service are great places when a person wants to find free tax help. Tax assistance is only a toll free phone call away, and though people may need to wait on hold for a while, they can get great advice from trained IRS employees on different tax matters. This service is free, and most of the employees are skilled in answering basic and significantly more complicated questions, such as what forms to file if a person is an independent contractor. Not only is this a great source of free tax help but also people can use the service repeatedly to get any tax questions answered.

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Some people would prefer written answers to tax questions, and they may want to search the Internet sites of tax agencies in each country to find free tax help, since most government websites have frequently asked questions (FAQ) sections. FAQs are another way to access free tax advice and can cover a wide range of subjects. People can also use government tax agency Internet sites to download forms and instructions.

Some governments offer free tax help clinics and tax preparation services for certain populations. In Canada, for example, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) runs the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, which may help low-income individuals and families with simple tax questions and with filling out income tax forms. Other programs may be offered privately. People in Ontario can find free tax help with the Tax Clinic Program sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, which serves those in low-income brackets.

Similarly, there are several private programs in the US where people can find free tax help. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has tax-aide clinics. Other programs include those that help member of the military file their taxes through the Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC). Alternately, people in low-income brackets may use services from the Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Again, the IRS may be the best source for finding out if a person qualifies to participate in any of these programs and to find nearby locations where these programs operate.

One thing people should be wary of when trying to find free tax help online is the many websites that offer free filing or free e-filing. Some of these sites may be able to give very basic information for free, but if people have complicated forms to file, they may very well end up paying for filing or help. A lot of sites advertise as “free tax help” and then show they actually charge for their services. It’s a better idea to check with a government tax agency for recognized programs that legitimately offer their services for free, instead of hunting around on the Internet for private companies that may offer their “free advice” for a fee.

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