Free Tax Prep Help: Who Qualifies And How To Save If You Don't -

Free Tax Prep Help: Who Qualifies And How To Save If You Don't

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Free tax assistance available. Free tax assistance available.

You could qualify for free help preparing your taxes. And even if you don't, there are other ways you can save money when you file.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program kicked off Friday, January 31. United Way runs the program and has set up many clinics throughout the Upstate, but you need to schedule an appointment.

If you live in Spartanburg, Union or Cherokee counties call 864-582-2975. If you live in Greenville, Anderson or Pickens counties call 211 for an appointment.  Click here for sites that offer appointments.

One Spartanburg taxpayer tells us she has saved an estimated $450 since she started using the program three years ago.

Anyone earning $52,000 a year or less qualifies for the VITA program.

Tax preparer Merle Hammond says even if you don't qualify, follow these steps to save:

  • Double check that you've signed every line needed so the IRS doesn't claim your return is incomplete.
  • File early so you catch mistakes
  • Brush up on the deductions for things like education, childcare and homeownership.

If you're just at the threshold to qualify for one-on-one assistance, you may still have options.

Anyone earning less than $58,000 can take advantage of free tax preparation software from companies that have partnered with the IRS and Turbo Tax.

The IRS also has a program for people 60 and older.  Tax Counseling For The Elderly is often run by AARP offices

And no matter what your income, anyone can use the IRS Free Fillable forms online and call the IRS branch closest to you for help.

Just keep in mind, if your return is complex, don't cut corners. It could be more costly in the end.

  • How do you file your taxes?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    On my own
    167 votes
    Use a tax preparer
    188 votes
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