Busting Myths of Free Tax Preparation
If you have preconceived notions about the VITA and TCE programs, you might be surprised to learn the truth about these commonly held myths:
My taxes are too complicated.
While there are some limitations to what we can do in VITA and TCE and we may need to recommend that you see a paid tax professional, we handle quite a range of returns. Gone are the days when free filing was only for the single person with one W-2. We can handle itemized deductions, retirement income, sales of stocks and bonds, and credits like the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. We even have some sites that can serve members of the military who have special income or expense situations.
I bet they can’t E-file my return or offer direct deposit.
On the contrary. We want you to E-file if at all possible, and if you have a checking or savings account, direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your refund. We can even help you purchase savings bonds with your refund.
If it’s free, it must not be very good.
All of our volunteers undertake IRS prepared training, and every volunteer must take an ethics exam and one or more certification exams every single year they volunteer.
It sounds too good to be true, so it can’t really be free.
It really is free to you. You receive every penny of the refund you have earned. These programs are sponsored by the IRS and community partners to serve people who need them. Our volunteers genuinely enjoy doing your taxes, and they have no motive other than helping you. They are not paid to do this work; they are here because they want to be here.