Where to Find Places to File Taxes for Free

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting income tax returns during the last week of January. Although filing taxes can be intimidating, it is important to file your tax return because it’s legally required, in most cases. Your tax returns also help determine benefits and tax credits like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Credit, or stimulus payments. In many cases, you can get all the help you need with your tax return for no cost. Here’s what to know: 

What are the requirements to file taxes for free?

The IRS offers free basic tax return preparation for qualified individuals. Trusted staff and volunteers, all who are efficiently tax law trained, participate through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).  

Here’s who qualifies:

  • People who makes $57,000 or less annually
  • People with disabilities;
  • Limited English-speakers 

If you are 60 years of age or older, you can participate in the free Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. 

If you do not qualify for these tax preparation services, there are also free income-based, online options through the IRS Free File feature. This opens up at the end of January 2022.  

How can I find a VITA center near me?

Step 1: click HERE (for English) or HERE (for Spanish) 

Step 2: enter your zip code and set the distance that you are able to travel from that area. In some cases, you may have to adjust the distance further in order to find the nearest location. 

Step 3: review the list of available locations near you 

This list will provide you with all of the information you need, such as directions to each location, dates and hours of operation, languages spoken at each location, and whether or not appointments are required. 

What do I need to do before going to a VITA center?

Before arriving at your nearest VITA center location, make sure to set up an appointment, if it is required. You will need to provide certain documentation for your tax preparation including photo ID, social security cards or ITIN documentation for your spouse and children, and your wage and earning statements.

HERE is the complete list of required documents. 

Thalia Carrillo is a writer based in Austin, TX. She moved from her hometown of El Paso, TX to pursue a journalism degree at The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys covering politics and pop culture and has a passion for social justice, digital storytelling, plants, and specialty coffee!