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Rev. date: 7/2006


IRS Services – Volunteer Tax Assistance, Toll–Free Telephone, Walk–in Assistance, Outreach Programs, and Identity Theft

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Tele-Tax Topic 101
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The IRS sponsors volunteer assistance programs and offers help to taxpayers in many community locations.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help by trained volunteers to low to moderate income taxpayers. VITA sites are locally available at community locations, and provide free basic income tax return preparation to individuals. To see if you qualify, see Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services, at our website, www.irs.gov. Volunteers prepare Form 1040-A, Form 1040-EZ, and Form 1040.
Trained volunteers can help you with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly for which you may qualify.
In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, many VITA sites offer free electronic filing (e-file). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster if you have your refund deposited directly into your bank account.
Learn the locations, dates, and hours of the volunteer sites, by calling the IRS toll-free at 800–TAX–1040 or 800–829–1040.
Another program, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), is a grant program designed to offer free tax assistance to individuals age 60 years or older with low to moderate income. TCE sites are located at convenient community locations. TCE counselors offer free income tax return preparation services, and can prepare Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040 (Schedule A), and simple Form 1040 (Schedule D). The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), participates in the TCE program. To locate the nearest AARP office, visit their web site at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/ or call 888–AARPNOW or 888–227–7669. To locate the nearest TCE site call the IRS toll-free at 800–TAX–1040 or 800–829–1040.
If you plan to take advantage of any of the volunteer assistance programs, be sure to bring photo identification as well as social security cards for you and all your exemptions, your current year's tax package and/or label, all Forms W-2 and Forms 1099, information for other income, information for all deductions/credits, a copy of last year's tax return, amounts paid for day care, and bank routing numbers if your are expecting a refund and choose direct deposit.
You can get free telephone assistance by calling 800–829–1040. When calling this number, you may ask questions to help you prepare your return, or ask about a notice you have received. In certain areas, IRS has local offices you may visit to receive assistance.
The Community Outreach Tax Education Program offers free tax seminars to groups of people sharing common tax interests. IRS employees or trained volunteers conduct tax information seminars at convenient times and places in the community. The seminars cover a variety of topics tailored to the needs of your organization's members and include films or videotapes and discussion of tax questions.
You should contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 800–908–4490 if you ever believe: Additional information regarding identity theft and your tax records can also be found at the IRS.gov website: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=136324,00.html
For information on VITA, TCE, and Community Outreach locations and times, or to volunteer for any of these programs, call 800–829–1040.
previous pagePrevious Page: IRS Help Available
next pageNext Page:  Tax Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities and the Hearing Impaired
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional instances of index items.