The IRS website not only contains a wealth of information about getting assistance with the tax preparation process, it also includes some free resources for making doing the work yourself easier.
Two very good live programs are the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program, both of which offer help to low income taxpayers who qualify.
Volunteers help taxpayers understand and benefit from such special credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly. They also give advice tax return preparation assistance and most of the storefront help sites assist with free electronic filing (e-filing). By taking advantage of the e-file program the time in waiting to receive refunds can be cut in half compared to returns filed on paper; and can be even faster when using direct deposit into one's bank account.
The VITA Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) individuals who do not feel qualified to prepare their own tax returns or need some help with e-filing. Various business organizations work with the IRS to sponsor certified volunteers that receive training in helping prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. Locations for VITA sites vary, but you can find the one nearest you by visiting IRS.gov.
People over 60 can receive free tax help from The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program. These trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens exclusively. Non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS often provide volunteers who provide tax counseling by retired individuals for retired individuals.
For the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) offers tax program coordinators who serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families oversees and the operation of the military tax programs worldwide.
By selecting direct deposit, most service members who file their tax returns electronically at their tax centers can receive their refunds in as little as one week. This effort ensures that service members receive the best tax assistance from well-trained and equipped military tax preparers.