Date published: 2021-3-2
Tax time is here again
Nobody looks forward to doing taxes. And if you also need to help your older adult with their taxes, it might feel even more painful.
Many seniors have pensions, pre-death life insurance benefits, IRA or 401K savings, or other financial assets.
This can make preparing and filing taxes more complicated.
To make it easier to do their taxes, you may want to consider getting expert help from an IRS-sponsored tax center at no charge.
We found 2 IRS-sponsored programs that offer no-cost tax help, show how to find a location near you, and recommend 3 important things to do before visiting one of these tax centers.
2 places to get free, expert tax preparation help for seniors
These two free programs are sponsored by the IRS and are great places to get qualified tax help at no charge.
The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
1. Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, especially those 60 years or older.
They specialize in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues that are common among seniors.
2. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers.
For those that qualify, IRS-certified volunteers help with basic income tax return preparation and electronic filing.
Find a local TCE or VITA tax help center
Use this IRS locator tool to find a TCE or VITA tax help center near you.
After entering your zip code, you’ll see information about nearby locations and important details like what languages are offered and whether or not you’ll need to make an appointment.
For 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has posted this notice:
“This year, some VITA/TCE sites are not operating at full capacity and others are not opening. To locate an open site near you, use the VITA/TCE Locator Tool or the AARP Site Locator Tool. The locator tools are updated throughout the filing season, so check back if you don’t see a nearby site listed.”
3 things to do before visiting a TCE or VITA tax help center
1. Make sure the services you need are offered by TCE or VITA
Before considering getting help from TCE or VITA, check here to make sure the services you need are offered.
2. Call ahead to make sure volunteers are available to provide needed services at that location
Call ahead to make sure the local VITA or TCE center has available volunteers that can provide the specific services needed for your older adult’s tax situation.
Because each location depends on volunteer expertise, they can’t guarantee having every service at every location.
3. Bring all necessary documents
Review the information on the IRS’ What to Bring page to make sure you have all the required documents and information. The volunteers will need this in order to help your older adult with their taxes.
Recommended for you:
- Tax Season = More Financial Scams Against Seniors
- 5 Ways to Reduce Resistance When Helping Aging Parents with Finances
- Find Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, and Private Benefits Programs
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.