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Tax Assistance

Filing your taxes can be a daunting task. Take heart - help is available.

Warning

DO NOT give your social security number to anyone in response to an email or phone call you receive. The IRS will never call you at home and ask you for your social security number and they will not email you for that information either. These calls and emails are coming from criminals who are hoping to steal your money and/or your identity. 

Completely Free Online Tax Tool for Those Filing Simple Federal AND StateTax Returns

MyFreeTaxes is a free tax preparation and filing tool for anyone whose adjusted gross income is less than $64,000 in 2016. Using this online service, you can file your federal and state tax returns at no cost to you. Your adjusted gross income is your total income from taxable sources, including salary and other employment income, interest and dividends, and long- and short-term capital gains and losses, minus unreimbursed business and medical expenses, contributions to a deductible individual retirement account (IRA), and alimony. Learn more here.

If You Need Help Filing

Free assistance in the preparation of federal and state Income Tax Returns (using the simple tax form) is available for taxpayers of every age at local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), and AARP sites. At these sites, individuals of low-to-moderate income, individuals with disabilities, and non-English speaking taxpayers can find direct assistance in filing their returns. 

VITA and TCE 

The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities. and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
 
The TCE program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Click here to search for VITA/TCE sites by zip code.

Click here for a printable list of VITA sites in North Carolina.

What to Bring With You to a VITA or TCE Site (source: IRS)
  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse, and dependents  - An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number.
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents 
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers, such as a blank check, for direct deposit 
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

AARP

AARP Foundation sites will assist tax filers of all ages and income levels. As long as you are filing the simple tax form, you are eligible for free assistance. 

Click here for AARP sites or call 1-888-227-7669 to be directed to a site.

What to Bring With You to an AARP Tax Assistance Site (source: AARP)
  • Last year’s tax return(s)
  • Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and every individual on your return.
  • Photo I.D. for all taxpayers - required
  • Checkbook if you want to direct deposit any refund(s)
  • W-2 from each employer
  • Unemployment compensation statements
  • SSA-1099 Form showing the total Social Security benefits paid to you for the year, or Form RRB-1099, Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits
  • 1099 Forms reporting interest (1099-INT), dividends (1099-DIV), proceeds from sales (1099-B), as well as documentation showing the original purchase price of your sold assets
  • 1099-R Form if you received a pension, annuity, or IRA distribution
  • 1099-MISC Forms
  • Information about other forms of Income
  • State or local income tax refunds
  • All forms and canceled checks indicating federal and state income tax paid (including quarterly estimated tax payments)

Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing their deductions. If you have a substantial amount of deductions, you may want to itemize. You will need to bring the following information:

  • 1098 Form showing any home mortgage interest
  • A list of medical/dental expenses (including doctor and hospital bills and medical insurance premiums), a list of prescription medicines, costs of assisted living services, and bills for home improvements such as ramps and railings for people with disabilities
  • Summary of contributions to charity
  • Receipts or canceled checks for all quarterly or other paid tax
  • Property Tax bills and proof of payment
  • 1095A Forms if you purchased insurance through the Marketplace (Exchange)
  • 1095B/1095C Forms (if applicable)
  • Any exemption correspondence from the Marketplace (if applicable)
  • Dependent care provider information (name, employer ID, or Social Security number)
  • 1098-T and 1098-E Forms (Tuition and Student Loan Interest)

Tax Information for Military Personnel

Military VITA Sites

The military also has a strong VITA program that is administered by the Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC). Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors, and guardsmen, and their families worldwide receive free tax preparation assistance at offices within their installations.  These VITA sites provide free tax advice, tax preparation, and assistance to military members and their families. They are trained and equipped to address military specific tax issues.

Click here for a CONUS VITA Locations Map.

Click here for OCONUS VITA Locations.

Military OneSource

Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and their family members who have questions about filing their tax return, can call 1-800-342-9647 and ask to speak with a Military OneSource tax consultant. Trained tax consultants are available free for those who are eligible 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., EST/EDT. MilTax, free tax preparation software is also available through Military OneSource and at select VITA locations where you can also find tax consultants who can sit down with you one-on-one and provide tax counseling and prepare your tax returns. Click here to learn more about MilTax.

Tax Information for Veterans

The Simple Dollar provides tax tips and other information specific to Veterans here.

Can't find what you need?

If you didn't find what you need on this page or need more information on local tax resources, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Our call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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