By Derek Brawner, Health Alliance
April 18 is fast approaching for all young, middle-age, and older adults alike. Tax Day—most years on April 15, but this year on April 18 due to a holiday—is the day by when taxes must be filed with state and federal departments of revenue. Now, if you’re like me, I bet you waited until the very last minute to file your taxes! Hopefully this article can help—specifically those of you who are in the older generation and need help with filing your taxes.
The IRS.gov website has a good amount of information available for older adults to get help filing taxes. Taxpayers on a fixed income need to be able to save every penny they can when it comes to preparing, filing, and paying their taxes—and IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation for taxpayers with incomes less than $69,000 a year. The IRS Free File (available on IRS.gov) offers brand-name tax-software products to help older adults and retirees file returns. You can browse multiple options to find the right help. Free File also can be filed electronically, and you can use your smartphone or tablet to file your taxes—just go to IRS.gov/FreeFile on your device. You might even be able to file your state taxes for free or with a small fee.
For older taxpayers who don’t feel comfortable with technology or who don’t have electronic devices such as a smartphone, tablet or computer—there are possibly local programs you can go to for free help. The IRS offers programs called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly). These are grant-based programs at the local level to help older adults with their taxes. You should also check with your local service agencies, libraries, and churches for any tax prep help they might offer. In short, don’t be afraid to search and ask for the guidance you need—it’s often closer than you think.
Derek Brawner is a community and broker liaison at Health AllianceTM. He’s a small-town guy living in the big city of Springfield, married with two kids, a huge Star Wars fan and a griller extraordinaire. Like this article? Feel free to respond to Outreach@HealthAlliance.org. Thanks for reading!