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Free IRS tax assistance

If you have limited income and need help preparing your federal tax return, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program may be able to help you.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to taxpayers who have limited income and need assistance with preparing their own returns.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age or older. Volunteers at TCE sites have specialized training in pension and retirement issues.

Do you qualify for free IRS tax assistance?

It helps to be aware of what types of tax returns VITA and TCE volunteers can prepare. VITA and TCE volunteers are IRS certified to prepare simple individual tax returns free of charge.


  • Publication 3676-B, IRS Certified Volunteers Providing Free Tax Assistance, provides a list of the types of forms and schedules volunteers are authorized to prepare.

  • Some VITA sites offer Certify Acceptance Agent services to taxpayers who need to obtain an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and are unable to obtain a Social Security Number.

What information do you need to provide?

Before visiting a VITA or TCE site, you should begin by gathering all of the necessary documents. Use the checklist below to help you organize and gather the information you need.

If you’re married and filing a joint tax return, both spouses must be present during the tax return preparation to sign

What to expect at your appointment?

After the volunteer has finished your tax return, you’ll be told the amount of your expected tax refund or the amount you owe. If you wish, the volunteer will electronically file your tax return free of charge to the IRS and state. The volunteer is required to provide you a copy of your return for your records.

VITA and TCE programs offer free e-filing

Filing electronically may help you receive your tax refund faster. It also helps ensure your tax return is accurate by verifying Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, and checking the math on the return.



Did you receive an Earned Income Tax assistance disallowance letter?

We’ll walk you through a couple of simple questions and provide you with a checklist of documents you can submit

Learn more

Still need help?

You may be eligible for representation from an attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Enrolled Agent (EA) associated with a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) for little or no cost. Low Income Taxpayer Clinics also provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language.

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TAS assists victims of VITA site preparer fraud

The director of a large Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site contacted TAS with concerns about refund amounts some of her clients received on their 2015 tax returns.

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