Free tax preparation? You could qualify for these IRS programs

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If you meet certain guidelines, you could be eligible for free tax preparation from two IRS programs. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

If you meet certain guidelines, you could be eligible for free tax preparation help through two programs offered by the IRS.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to citizens who make $54,000 or less, those with disabilities, the elderly and those with limited English proficiency, while the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for taxpayers ages 60 and older.

VITA and TCE volunteers will prepare W-2 and many other common forms, but there are restrictions as to what the programs cover. A full list of qualifying forms is available on the IRS' website.

In addition to preparing tax returns, the volunteers are trained in helping taxpayers identify if they qualify for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and the Dependent Care Credit.

There are thousands of VITA and TCE sites nationwide, and they are all staffed by IRS-certified volunteers. Those looking to take advantage of the services should be sure to bring all necessary tax forms as well as proof of identity and other relevant documents.
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