IRS updates rules to protect free filing options for low-income taxpayers

5 Ways to Get Free Tax Filing in 2021

IRS updates rules to protect free filing options for low-income taxpayers

Tax preparation isn’t cheap, but you can get free tax preparation if you know where to look. The IRS Free File program is a great option for many, but it's not the only way to get free tax filing.

Here are five ways to file your taxes for free.

Who is eligible for IRS Free File?

IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and a nonprofit organization called the Free File Alliance. IRS Free File provides access to free tax preparation software from 10 tax-prep companies, including major brands.

You must have less than $72,000 of adjusted gross income to qualify for IRS Free File (the IRS estimates that 70% of all taxpayers are eligible).

IRS Free File providers include big names such as Intuit (which makes TurboTax), TaxAct, and TaxSlayer.

What you get

  • Provide some basic information about yourself and where you live, and IRS Free File will match you with free tax preparation software. Depending on the provider, you might be charged for your state return, though.
  • According to the IRS, more than 20 states also have state Free File programs patterned after the federal one. That means free tax preparation for your state return, too. Those states are: Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, along with the District of Columbia.
  • Also, even if your income is over the limit, IRS Free File provides everyone with access to fillable electronic versions of IRS forms (but not much guidance).

Where to get it

IRS.gov/freefile or via the IRS2Go app. Also, you can visit major tax software providers' websites and look for a link to their IRS Free File products.

What it is

Many major tax software providers offer free tax preparation software for people with really simple tax situations. These packages may be different from what’s available via IRS Free File.

Free Income Tax Assistance

IRS updates rules to protect free filing options for low-income taxpayers
To protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, DRS has suspended walk-in services to the public at its four branch offices. Please call or e-mail DRS for assistance.

State Income Tax Assistance: Free assistance in completing Connecticut returns is available from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) by telephone or in person at any of our Field Offices.

 If you come to our offices for help in preparing your Connecticut income tax return you must arrive by 4 p.m. and you must bring all of the following items:

  • Your completed federal income tax return;*
  • Your social security card, and your spouse's if you are filing a joint return. To order a new or replacement social security card, visit https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/;
  • State copies of all W-2 forms and any other forms showing Connecticut tax withheld;
  • Property tax payment information if you paid property tax in Connecticut on your home or motor vehicle;
  • Photo Identification (driver's license, passport, or other government issued photo id);

NOTE: Both spouses must be present if you are filing a joint return.

* DRS does not provide assistance in completing your federal return. You may be eligible for free assistance from the Internal Revenue Service ((800) 829-1040) or from one of the organizations listed below. 

Those who cannot come to any of our offices can still receive tax help by calling (800) 382-9463 (Connecticut callers outside the Greater Hartford calling area only), or (860) 297-5962 from anywhere Monday – Friday (8:30 am to 4:30 pm).

AARP

AARP Tax-Aide services have been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check the link below for AARP Tax-Aide updates.

Federal and State Tax Assistance: AARP's Tax-Aide Program, a partnership between the AARP Foundation and the Internal Revenue Service, provides free tax counseling and preparation services to middle-and low-income taxpayers, with special attention to people age 60 and older.

 Click on the Tax-Aide Site Locator which will take you to the AARP site for information on locations and hours.  Many sites will e-file your federal and Connecticut returns at no cost to you.

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is proud to provide training and materials to volunteers from the Tax-Aide Program.

VITA

VITA sites across the state have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Connecticut's 2-1-1 website and 'Free Tax Help' for updates, including Virtual VITA.

Federal and State Tax Assistance:  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help for low-to moderate-income (under $56,000) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

Volunteers, sponsored by various organizations, receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.  Some locations also offer free electronic filing. 

If you need assistance from VITA, see the list of Connecticut VITA Sites. Please note: When accessing this IRS link, you must select Continue to get to the screen which allows you to chose your zip code. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is proud to provide training and materials to volunteers from the VITA Program.

UCONN LAW SCHOOL TAX CLINIC

The Tax Clinic is a pro bono (free) legal clinic that gives free legal help to low income taxpayers with tax problems–either with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS). Diana Leyden, the director and an associate clinical professor, and law students will work on your case. The Tax Clinic also works with attorneys in Connecticut who volunteer to help low income taxpayers pro bono.

The Tax Clinic is independent and separate from the IRS and DRS. All telephone conversations and in person meetings are confidential.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

UConn Law School Tax Clinic Lisa Perkins, Associate Director65 Elizabeth StreetHartford, CT  06105

Phone:  (860) 570-5165

NOTE: UCONN tax clinic is only able to assist individual taxpayers with Connecticut income tax problems. They are unable to assist with any other Connecticut business or individual tax.

Источник: https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Individuals/VITA-TCE/Free-Income-Tax-Assistance

eFile Information: NCfreefile and eFile for a fee

IRS updates rules to protect free filing options for low-income taxpayers

The following lists of eFile provider websites have been approved for the preparation and online electronic filing of state and federal individual income tax returns. The product names and details* below are given by eFile providers and are subject to change. These lists are updated as new information or additional approved eFile products become available.

eFile for Free – eligibility requirements and approved products

Click a product link below to access an online eFile for Free* product – using any other link may result in fees being assessed – then follow product directions.

  • Be sure the product that you select supports the forms you want to file
  • If the product that you select does not offer payment options or you prefer to pay by Visa or MasterCard, you can use our website to pay your tax online

The following Free File products are affiliated with Free File, Inc. (FFI) providers

  • Free File, Inc. providers partner with the IRS and state revenue agencies to offer free electronic tax services to qualifying taxpayers.
Product NameEligibility Requirements   (Tax Year 2020)
  • Adjusted Gross Income: $32,000 or less
  • Age Restriction: No age restriction
  • Residency Status: NC Resident
  • Payment Option: Yes
  • Offer is limited to three (3) free tax returns per computer
  • Adjusted Gross Income: $16,000 – $72,000 ($72,000 or less for active duty military)
  • Age Restriction: No age restriction
  • Residency status: NC Resident
  • Payment option: Yes
  • Adjusted Gross Income: $63,000 or less ($72,000 or less for active duty military)
  • Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Age restriction: 56 or younger
  • Residency status: No restriction
  • Payment option: Yes
  • Adjusted Gross Income: $72,000 or Less ($72,000 or less for active duty military)
  • Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Age restriction: 51 or younger
  • Residency status: NC Resident
  • Payment option: Yes
  • Adjusted Gross Income: $39,000 or Less ($72,000 or less for active duty military; includes Reservists and National Guard)
  • Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Age restriction: No age restriction
  • Residency Status: NC Resident
  • Payment Option: Yes
  • Accuracy & Simplicity: Download your W2 and transfer prior year Turbotax data

The following free file option is not affiliated with Free File, Inc. 

Product NameEligibility Requirements (Tax Year 2018)

Product Name

Eligibility Requirements (Tax Year 2020)

  • Adjusted Gross Income: No limitationAdjusted Gross Income: $32,000 or less
  • Age Restriction: No age restrictionAge restriction: No age restriction 
  • Residency status: NC residentResidency status: NC resident
  • Payment option: YesPayment option: Yes

eFile for a Fee – other available eFile options

If you don't qualify for free electronic filing, please visit the listing of the approved software products to determine which software product will meet your filing needs. 

  • Be sure the product that you select supports the forms you want to file
  • If the product that you select does not offer payment options, you can use our website to pay your taxes online

To find out if you qualify to use free software, review the eFile for Free options listed above.

* Important

  • By clicking a product link, above, you will leave the NCDOR website and be directed to a privately owned website operated by a 3rd party eFile provider.
  • All eFile software providers must test and be granted approval for eFile each tax season.
  • NCDOR is not affiliated with any particular eFile provider, does not endorse any particular products, and is not responsible for any eFile software/products or errors from computations done via an eFile provider's software.
  • If you need assistance with a software product, contact customer support for that product.

    NCDOR does not provide technical software support.

  • When using an eFile for Free product, you may be presented with an opportunity to browse fee-based products and services such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs), mutual funds, and other investment related products offered by that software provider.

    The decision to buy fee-based services is entirely up to you – you do not need to buy anything as a condition for using an eFile for Free product.

Looking for more information on available eFile products?

Источник: https://www.ncdor.gov/ncfreefile

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