Free Tax Help 2015 – Click here to download the AIDS Library’s printable pathfinder to free tax help in Philadelphia, updated for 2015.
WHERE TO GET FREE HELP FILING TAXES
Volunteer Income Tax Program – The IRS runs VITA to give free tax-filing assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. See flyer above for a complete list of sites in Philadelphia
- These sites are not VITA centers. They are places that host VITA volunteers. Although some VITA sites for 2014 are walk-in only, call the phone numbers (on the flier) before going to any of these locations. Availability and hours will vary. For specific dates/hours of operation, search here.
- People must bring the following to VITA appointments:
- Proof of identification – Picture ID
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
- Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements, if applicable
To find VITA sites beyond Philadelphia, search here, or call the free hotline: 1-800-906-9887.
The Campaign for Working Families – The CWF website includes a chart of who is eligible for their services. Their website includes a map of their 18 Philadelphia tax prep sites. Anyone hoping to use this service should call the number of the location (listed at that website) to make an appointment. You may also call 215-851-1886.
American Association of Retired Persons – Folks of low-to-middle income who are 60 or older can get free services through AARP, as part of the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. To locate the nearest site, call 1-888-227-7669, or search for a site online.
DOING TAXES YOURSELF
The Benefit Bank’s Self-Serve Edition – A free online tax service for anyone who has an Adjusted Gross Income of $65,000 or less, designed to be a self-serve program.
MyFreeTaxes.com – Despite a name that makes it sound like a commercial scam, this is a collaboration of Campaign for Working Families, United Way, and Wal-Mart, to provide free online tax software, as well as additional tax tips. A free online tax service for anyone who has an Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less.
Paper Tax Forms – all tax forms are available free to download from the IRS’s website. Here are webpages with:
- The IRS’s Federal forms
- The PA Revenue Department’s State forms
- The Federation of Tax Administrators’ Map for finding forms from other states
- The Philadelphia Department of Revenue’s City forms
Order Tax Forms by Phone – You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 to order forms by US mail. Individuals can order up to 10 forms (or other IRS publications).
Disability and Non-English Speakers – The Philadelphia Revenue Department also offers large print bills, Braille bills, audio cassettes and foreign language telephone interpreter services for folks doing taxes. To request these, call 215-686-6600.
MORE TAX INFORMATION
Taxpayer Rights – An IRS.gov webpage about rights regarding taxes, including various publications and factsheets. A few highlights of the page that may be of use to our clients (or us):
Identity Theft – The IRS also offers an Identity Theft Hotline at 1-800-908-4490 for anyone who believes:
- That their tax records are currently affected by identity theft and that they have not been able to resolve the matter
- They may be at risk of identity theft due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report