Update: Tax Filing Date Has Been Extended to May 17
Tax season is here again and local taxpayers can now get their tax returns prepared for free with Community Link as part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
For half a century, VITA has offered free tax preparation assistance to elderly, disabled, and low- and moderate-income households. This program has benefited thousands of lower-income individuals and families. VITA received a substantial boost this year when Congress increased funding to $30 million, the maximum amount allowable. Generally, VITA’s free tax help is available to:
- People who make $57,000 or less annually
- People with disabilities
- Taxpayers with limited English language proficiency
In Mecklenburg County, Community Link coordinates the VITA program. This year, due to the pandemic, all tax preparation services are being conducted virtually and contact-free.
Taxpayers should visit Community Link’s VITA site for more information and to sign up for a virtual appointment.
To reach Community Link by phone, call (704) 943-9490 or (800) 977-1969.
If you live outside of Mecklenburg County, search for VITA sites near you by entering your zip code into the VITA/TCE Locator Tool.
In addition to VITA, the IRS also offers Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which focuses on tax questions and issues relevant to senior citizens. The AARP’s Tax-Aide Program operates many of these sites. Find locations near you via the Tax-Aide Site Locator.
Taxpayers with income above the VITA limit can file their taxes online for free via IRS Free File. Available options depend on whether the filer’s adjusted gross income is above or below $72,000.
For more information on filing taxes during these turbulent times, check out Get the Most Out of Your Tax Refund in 2021 from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The deadline for filing tax returns this year is May 17.