- Days left

Free Tax Help: 4 Ways to Get It

Justin Sullivan, Getty ImagesYou know you have to do your tax return, but with the tax laws as complicated as they are, it's tougher than ever to get the job done. If you need help but don't want to pay through the nose to get it, here are some resources that can get you the assistance you need at a price that's right: free.

1. Go Straight to the IRS.

The first place to look for help with your tax return is at the IRS website. With a variety of lists of frequently asked questions, tax topic discussions, forms and publications, and other helpful materials, you may well get the answers you need online.

If you don't, though, the IRS is standing by with its toll-free tax assistance line. Call (800) 829-1040 to get help on your individual tax return questions.

2. Get Free Help In-Person.

The IRS also sponsors volunteer programs aimed at helping millions of taxpayers prepare their returns. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program covers those who make $51,000 or less in income and have a particular emphasis on special tax credits aimed at low-income taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program is aimed at those who are 60 or older, with help on how to deal with pension, retirement, and other tax issues that affect older taxpayers.

To find a VITA site near you, use this IRS link. For the TCE, many sites are operated by AARP's Tax Aide Program; click here to find a site near you.

3. Put the Taxpayer Advocate On Your Side.

If you have a dispute with the IRS and aren't getting the treatment you deserve, the Taxpayer Advocate Service can help. This free service helps taxpayers around the country handle IRS problems and resolve disputes by getting the responses you need. Click here to get more information, or this link will take you directly to contact information for your Taxpayer Advocate.

4. Beware of Scams.

Unfortunately, taking advantage of those seeking tax help is one way scam artists get sensitive information like your Social Security number or bank-account information. Email is the most common method these scammers use, but fake websites can often lure unsuspecting taxpayers into giving up their information. The best solution is to stick with known reputable sources of free information. If you get a suspicious email, contact the IRS here.

You can follow Motley Fool contributor Dan Caplinger on Twitter @DanCaplinger or on Google+.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

5 Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

Most of us are looking for ways to pay no more than we owe in taxes, or even boost our tax refunds. Here are five strategies that go beyond the obvious with tried-and-true ways to reduce your tax liability.

What, Me Worry? Last Minute Taxes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 20-25% of all Americans wait until the last two weeks before the deadline to prepare their tax returns. At that late date, there are only two things you can do: File your taxes pronto, or request a tax extension.

Can't File by the Deadline? Top 3 Reasons to File a Tax Extension

The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to file for a 6-month extension if they need more time to prepare their tax return. You can obtain a tax extension for any reason; the IRS grants them automatically as long as you complete the proper form on time. Check your state tax laws; some states accept IRS extensions while others require you to file a separate state extension form.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

1 Comment

Filter by:
df00000

Good post!

March 21 2013 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply