These Programs Help Seniors File Their Taxes for Free

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  • Many seniors have unique tax situations.
  • Those who need extra assistance filing their tax returns can take advantage of free preparation resources for seniors.
  • The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs provide free tax guidance to seniors.

It's not too late to get help filing your taxes.

Most adults in the U.S. must file a tax return yearly -- even older Americans who no longer work. Seniors with unique personal finance situations may struggle to file their returns without professional help, but luckily, there are free resources available. If you qualify for such programs, you could get assistance preparing and filing your taxes without spending money. We've outlined some resources below so you know where to go to get the tax help you need.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides free virtual and in-person tax assistance to eligible taxpayers. While anyone can use this program, the program focuses on offering support to taxpayers over 50 and those with low to moderate income. You don't need to be an AARP member to use this service.

Volunteers are available nationwide to provide help. You can feel confident using this resource because all volunteers must undergo training and be IRS-certified yearly to ensure they're up to date on current tax codes. Seniors can schedule an appointment to get help with their tax needs through April 18, 2023.

Note: While AARP Foundation Tax-Aide can help with most tax returns, this resource may not be a good fit for taxpayers with more complicated tax situations, such as small business owners with employees or filers with rental income.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Another free resource available to seniors is the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. Eligible seniors can work with a qualified volunteer to prepare basic tax returns for free. This service is available to seniors ages 60 and older. Program volunteers specialize in addressing tax needs unique to seniors, including retirement and pension income.

Similarly to the program above, all volunteers must take and pass tax law training that meets IRS standards. You'll need to schedule an appointment to get help filing your taxes. The IRS has an online look-up tool to find a nearby TCE site.

Explore alternative resources for free tax prep help

Both programs above are an option for seniors needing free tax help, but they're not the only resources you can use. Alternatively, you may want to check to see if any tax preparation services are available at your local library or community center. Many communities host free tax preparation and filing events to help those in need, including seniors.

You still have time to file your yearly tax return

Have you been delaying doing your taxes? While April 18 is quickly approaching, there is still time to file your annual tax return. If you feel uncomfortable handling your tax matters alone, don't hesitate to get assistance from an expert.

It's never a good idea to guess your way through the filing process, as you could make costly errors. Free resources like the ones mentioned above exist for a reason and could help you navigate your tax matters more easily.

If you're a tax-savvy senior, you may want to use free tax software to file your federal tax return. Be sure to review eligibility requirements to verify whether you qualify for free federal tax filing. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a fee to file your state tax return.

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