PREPARING A TAX RETURN
Who Can Help
If you want to have someone help you, ask your friends and co-workers for suggestions. If someone helps you prepare your tax return, they also need to sign it. But you are responsible for any mistakes that get made.
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program
VITA is free tax help from the IRS for households that earn less than $35,000 per year. Trained volunteers provide this service at community agencies, churches, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other places. To find a location in the Bay Area call, 1-800-358-8832 or 1-800-829-1040.
TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) Program
TCE is an IRS program for free tax help to people age 60 and older. Trained volunteers provide free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation for senior citizens.
Professional Tax Preparers are people you can hire to help you fill out your taxes. Here are questions you can ask before hiring someone to prepare your tax return:
1. What are your normal working hours? Do I need to make an appointment?
2. How many years have you been preparing taxes?
3. What is your experience with taxes for someone in my situation?
4. What are the price ranges for your services?
5. What happens if there is a mistake on my return?
6. What if I have a problem after tax season is over?
Remember: no matter who you hire, you are still responsible for what gets sent in.
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