Finance

VITA: Relief from Taxing Returns

It’s everybody’s favorite time of year: tax season.

Feb 18, 2016

For some, the prospect of collecting a large return after a year’s worth of maximum contributions is an exciting one indeed, especially after that pricey holiday trip to Maui. But for others, the process of filing income taxes comes with thick, heavy feelings of reluctance, potentially bordering on resentment even.

For those who fall into the latter category, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But you don’t need to fear nor procrastinate any longer, for we have a solution to help make preparing your tax return a breeze.

Understanding VITA

Every year, between the start of December and mid-January, certified volunteers receive training from the IRS to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. This Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is intended to help low- to moderate-income taxpayers ($54,000 per year or less), people with disabilities, the elderly and non-English-speakers.

If you qualify, you can visit a VITA site in your area and receive basic income tax return assistance from a certified volunteer at no cost to you. You’ll just need to prepare the documents that they’ll need to properly assist you and schedule an appointment if required by your local VITA site.

Tax Help for Seniors

In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is available to all taxpayers. The program also offers free tax assistance, but it places a greater emphasis on pensions and retirement-related issues. This added layer of specialization typically benefits individuals aged 60 and older, but it could apply to individuals of any age who are planning for the future.

Enlisting the Help You Need

Don’t ever feel like you have to take on your taxes alone. Receiving a little help from someone who knows the ins and outs of the government’s forms, acronyms and intentions can make it a much less daunting task. VITA volunteers will be able to lay it all out for you in terms you can understand so you avoid the little mistakes that could come back to bite you next tax season.

We’re all capable of doing our taxes on our own, but to know that they’re filed with the exactitude and efficiency of a professional can help put your mind at ease.

For more information on VITA and TCE, or to find sites in your area, click here.

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