Get help filing your income tax returns — for free!

If your adjusted gross income is $52,000 or less, you probably qualify for free assistance. Adjusted gross income is your gross income after exemptions and deductions.

To take advantage of free tax software, your adjusted gross income will generally need to be $58,000 or less.

Where do I look? First, look for a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, known as VITA, or a Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, known as TCE. Both are partly funded by the IRS and located just about everywhere – in universities, elementary schools, recreation centers, churches, employment centers, libraries and even shopping malls. The volunteers who staff VITAs are often retired professionals or students who use the volunteer time to get college credit or build their job resume.

You can find a VITA at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-906-9887.

Most TCE sites are run by the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide Program. If you go to the IRS website to search for a TCE, it will direct you to the AARP website, or go directly to the AARP website, www.aarp.org.

You or an older relative could also call 1-888-227-7669 to get help at a TCE. To qualify for help, you have to be at least 60.

Can I get help online? Instead of finding a VITA or TCE, you could do your taxes on your computer. Myfreetaxes.com is a free service funded by Walmart Foundation, Goodwill Industries International, National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide. The website offers free tax preparation software that can be used for federal taxes and state taxes in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.

You can also go to irs.gov, then look for the “free file” logo. Click on “start free file now,” and you’ll be directed to a page with 14 commercial tax software companies that will allow you to file with them for free, provided your adjusted gross income is not over $58000.

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