Source: IRS Communications
Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov 24 hours a day to get answers to tax questions. IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option to get help. The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to individual circumstances. Based on input, it can determine a taxpayer’s filing status, if a person should file a tax return, if someone can be claimed as a dependent, if a type of income is taxable, if a filer is eligible to claim a credit or if an expense can be deducted.
The IRS encourages people to file their tax returns electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.
The IRS offers free online and in-person tax preparation options for qualifying taxpayers through the IRS Free File program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
Taxpayers with income of $79,000 or less last year – and that's most taxpayers – can use IRS Free File Guided Tax Software now through Oct 15. IRS Free File Fillable forms, a part of this program, is available at no cost to any income level and provides electronic forms that people fill out and e-file themselves, also at no cost.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $64,000 or less, persons with disabilities and taxpayers whose preferred language is not English. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
MilTax, a Department of Defense program, generally offers free return preparation and electronic filing software for federal income tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for all military members, and some veterans, with no income limit.
Another option is the Direct File pilot program. This program gives eligible taxpayers a new choice to file their 2023 federal tax returns online, for free, directly with the IRS. It will be rolled out in phases and is expected to be widely available in mid-March. Find more about Direct File pilot eligibility, scope and the 12 participating states on Direct File.