Finding Free Tax Return Preparation Services

IRS Free File: Do Your Own Taxes for Free

If your income is $73,000 or less, you may have access to free tax preparation software through IRS Free File. Several do-it-yourself options are available to file your federal and, in most cases, state tax returns. You will be able to choose from several software providers to find a program that meets your needs. Visit the IRS Free File page to view the available options.

If your income is $73,000 or more and you are comfortable preparing your tax returns yourself, the IRS offers “Free File Fillable Forms” for federal returns only. These forms are available from late January to mid-October each year. For more information, you can visit the IRS Fillable Forms page.

IRS-Sponsored VITA & TCE Programs

The Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $60,000 or less, persons with disabilities and taxpayers with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. The IRS-certified volunteers provide tax counseling services through non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Locate the nearest VITA or TCE site, by calling VITA/TCE Locator tool to enter your zip code and find a provider near you.

Because many VITA and TCE sites are only open from January through April and the VITA/TCE locator tool provides real-time results, it is best to search this site during the tax season or when you are ready to have your tax return completed.

Most TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide program. During the tax season, you can also use the AARP Tax-Aide Locator tool to search for a free Tax-Aide site.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites are only open from late January / early February to April 15th, so their locator tool is only functional during that time frame.

MilTax: Tax Services for the Military

MilTax is a Department of Defense program that generally offers free return preparation and e-filing software for all military members, with no income limit.

If you do not qualify for any of these free services, consider preparing your own return.