Could free tax help make filing easier? Almost every working individual in the country needs to file taxes each year. Free tax preparation is available to those who earn less than a certain amount, have disabilities, are seniors, or have language barriers.
If you need no-cost tax assistance, you can go through government programs, trusted organizations, or preparation software. However, there are pros and cons to using these resources. Check out details about getting free income tax preparation, like the eligibility requirements and what to expect.
The federal government requires almost all wage-earners to file federal tax returns. You may not need to file if your gross income is less than a certain amount based on your tax filing status and age. Reference the following chart:
|Filing Status||Age at the end of 2021||Minimum Gross Income to File|
|Single||Younger than 65||$12,550|
|65 or older||$14,250|
|Head of Household||Younger than 65||$18,800|
|65 or older||$27,800|
|Married and Filing Jointly||Younger than 65 (both spouses)||$25,100|
|65 or older (one spouse)||$26,450|
|65 or older (both spouses)||$27,800|
|Married and Filing Separately||N/A||$5|
|Qualifying Widow/er||Younger than 65||$25,100|
|65 or older||$26,450|
Additionally, you may not need to file a state income tax return if you live in one of the nine states without an income tax. These states include Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
You may be able to use the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Free File tool if you need to file your federal or state return. The IRS Free File Program is available through partnering companies.
However, this option is not available for all states and tax filers who earn more than a specific amount. It also may not be as helpful for those with extra considerations, such as landlords, freelancers, and business owners.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) initiative is a government program that helps you find free filing assistance. The VITA program has been around for more than 50 years, and it gives free tax assistance to those who qualify.
VITA is only available if you earn less than a certain amount, have a disability, or do not speak English. VITA can help with both federal and state tax returns.
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) is another program for senior taxpayers. TCE representatives specialize in pensions, retirement accounts, and other tax factors unique to older individuals. Next, find out if you qualify for these federal and state taxes help from these government programs and how to get free assistance if you do not meet those requirements.