Where To Get Free Tax Assistance

Tax season officially began a little late this year, on February 12, but don’t think that means the deadline to file will also be extended. Despite the delayed federal start, income tax filings are due on the traditional April 15 date, contrary to last year’s unusual July caused by COVID-19 disruptions. 

That means New Mexico seniors who find themselves facing challenges preparing and/or filing their tax returns should not wait to seek help. Support is available through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other local organizations, some offering services at no cost.

It’s best to prepare documents to the best of your ability before appearing at any tax preparation location. Call and check if appointments are required. Some sites offer assistance on a walk-in basis, and others require appointments. Take all the necessary information needed to file your taxes, and call ahead to see if there are any fees. A checklist of “What You Need to Get Started” is available at www.irs.gov. Click on “File Your Taxes for Free,” scroll down to about a quarter of the page to “What Is IRS Free File?” In that section is a tab for documents needed to get started.

Should you need more assistance, below is a snapshot of free tax prep services both online and local:

• The IRS offers free tax preparation and provides options for filing tax returns on its website. At irs.gov, you find information, forms, your nearest IRS office locations, what you need to get started, information on free file partners, and more. Additionally, information on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are available. You can also call (800) 333-4636 or (800) 829-1040.

• Tax Help New Mexico, operated in partnership with the United Way of Central New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College, offers free tax help with support from local, IRS-certified volunteers to people whose household income is $56,000 or less or those who are 65 years or older. The organization provides information on scheduling, drive-through service, and virtual assistance. The trained volunteers will prepare and review your tax return before filing to identify eligible tax credits. For more information, visit cnm.edu/depts/taxhelp or the United Way website, www.uwcnm.org.

• Free tax assistance is being provided by the AARP Foundation, virtually and in-person, with emphasis on those 50 and older or who have low to moderate income. Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified in the latest changes and additions to the tax code. Metro area sites include Bear Canyon Senior Center, 4645 Pitt St. NE; Holiday Park Community Center, 11710 Comanche Road NE; North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center, 7521 Carmel Ave. NE; NM Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Blvd. SE; Community of Joy Lutheran Church, 841 Saratoga Drive NE, Rio Rancho; First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, 3906 19th Ave. SE. Visit AARP Foundation at aarpfoundation.org/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669 for site hours, availability, and more information. 

• TurboTax has a Free Edition for simple tax returns only and offers a free expert final review. Visit turbotax.intuit.com/.

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