Consumer Alert: You May Qualify for Free Tax Preparation

Consumers often spend hundreds of dollars for tax preparation services when they could get free help through IRS-trained volunteers.

  • Do you have annual income of under $60,000?
  • Are you over the age of 60?
  • Do you have a disability?
  • Do you need language or interpretation support?
  • Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or their family member? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may qualify for free tax preparation services.

The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. They will also make sure that you receive the tax credits that you are entitled to, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

When can I get this help?

Free tax preparation services are generally available from the beginning of February through the tax filing deadline in April (usually April 15th.)

Where can I get this help?

A full list of VITA sites that provide tax prep can be found here. The biggest providers of VITA help in DC are United Way and Community Tax Aid.

  • United Way offers help through these locations or you can call 800-906-9887.
  • You can reach Community Tax Aid at 202-547-7773 or to find out more about their services in DC.

Certain communities, like seniors and members of the military, may be better served by specialists:

  • Seniors: Residents over 60 years old can also access Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs through AARP for help with pension and retirement-related issues. To find a TCE site, call AARP at 888-227-7669.
    • AARP’s Tax Aide Program provides both in person and virtual help to people over 50 who have low to moderate incomes.
  • Military: All members of the military qualify for free tax filing and preparation through this site


Even if you do not qualify for free tax preparation help, you may be able to file your return for free. IRS Free File offers brand-name tax software to people with incomes (generally) under $73,000. (The income limits vary by provider.)

Find an online provider here.

Anyone, regardless of income, can get free fillable tax forms from the IRS here.