|Tax Topic #101
||2008 Tax Year
Topic 101 - IRS Services – Volunteer Tax Assistance,
Toll–Free Telephone, Walk–in Assistance,
Outreach Programs, and Identity Theft
The IRS sponsors volunteer assistance programs and offers help to taxpayers
in many community locations.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help by
trained volunteers to low to moderate income taxpayers. VITA sites are locally
available at community locations, and provide free basic income tax return
preparation to individuals. To see if you qualify, see Publication 910 (PDF), IRS Guide to Free Tax Services, at our website,
www.irs.gov. Volunteers prepare Form 1040A (PDF), Form 1040EZ (PDF), and Form 1040 (PDF).
Trained volunteers can help you with special credits, such as Earned Income
Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly for which you
In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, many VITA sites
offer free electronic filing (e-file). Individuals taking advantage
of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time
compared to returns filed on paper – even faster if you have your refund
deposited directly into your bank account.
Learn the locations, dates, and hours of the volunteer sites, by calling
the IRS toll-free at (800) TAX-1040 or (800) 829–1040.
Another program, Tax
Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), is a grant program designed to offer
free tax assistance to individuals age 60 years or older with low to moderate
income. TCE sites are located at convenient community locations. TCE counselors
offer free income tax return preparation services, and can prepare Form 1040,
Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040, Schedule A&B (PDF),
and simple Form 1040, Schedule D (PDF). The American
Association of Retired Persons (AARP), participates in the TCE program. To
locate the nearest AARP office, visit their web site at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/ or
call 888-AARPNOW or 888-227-7669. To locate the nearest TCE site call the
IRS toll-free at 800-TAX-1040 or 800–829–1040.
If you plan to take advantage of any of the volunteer assistance programs,
be sure to bring photo identification as well as social security cards for
you and all your exemptions, your current year's tax package and/or label,
all Forms W-2 and Forms 1099, information for other income, information for
all deductions/credits, a copy of last year's tax return, amounts paid for
day care, and bank routing numbers if your are expecting a refund and choose
You can get free telephone assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040. When calling
this number, you may ask questions to help you prepare your return, or ask
about a notice you have received. In certain areas, IRS has local offices
you may visit to receive assistance.
Community Outreach Tax Education Program offers free tax seminars to groups
of people sharing common tax interests. IRS employees or trained volunteers
conduct tax information seminars at convenient times and places in the community.
The seminars cover a variety of topics tailored to the needs of your organization's
members and include films or videotapes and discussion of tax questions.
You should contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 800–908–4490 if
you ever believe:
Additional information regarding identity theft and your tax records
can also be found at the IRS.gov website: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=136324,00.html
- Your tax records are currently affected by identity theft and you have
not been able to resolve the matter, or
- You may be at risk of identity theft due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet,
questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc.
For information on VITA, TCE, and Community Outreach locations and times,
or to volunteer for any of these programs, call 800–829–1040.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: December 22, 2008
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