VITA – Free Tax Preparation

United Way of Southwest Alabama / Our Work  / Our Programs / VITA – Free Tax Preparation

Tax Deadlines Changed


The deadlines for individuals to file and pay most 2020 federal income taxes are extended to May 17, 2021
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NOTE: Alabama provides for an automatic extension of up to six months to file Alabama income tax returns whenever there is a corresponding Federal extension. As a result, Alabama taxpayers will not need to request an extension to file the Alabama individual income tax returns without a late-filing penalty through the extended Federal due date.

Regarding the payments of Alabama income tax for the 2020 tax year, which are due on April 15, 2021, the Alabama Department of Revenue (ALDOR) will automatically waive, without request, late-payment penalties for payments remitted by May 17, 2021. However, ALDOR is not authorized to waive interest, and any interest accruing from April 15, 2021, through the actual payment date will be due. Therefore, ALDOR encourages taxpayers to make their payments for the 2020 tax year as soon as possible to avoid the accrual of interest beyond April 15.

VITA Logo 2021

You earned your money!  Now file it!  Keep it!  Save it!

Is your 2019 household income $57,000 or less?

Are you a taxpayer that is 60 years or older?

If so, you are eligible for FREE tax preparation and e-filing of federal and state income tax returns by IRS certified and trained volunteers. 

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

  • The VITA program has operated for over 50 years, offering free tax help to: people who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities; and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
  • In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

Call 2-1-1 or 888.421.1266 for a tax preparation site near you or click here to schedule an appointment online!

VITA/TCE services are not only free, they are also a reliable and trusted source for preparing tax returns.

  • All VITA/TCE volunteers who prepare returns must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards. This training includes maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information. In addition to requiring volunteers to certify their knowledge of the tax laws, the IRS requires a quality review check for every return prepared at a VITA/TCE site prior to filing. Each filing season, tens of thousands of dedicated VITA/TCE volunteers prepare millions of federal and state returns. They also assist taxpayers with the preparation of thousands of Facilitated Self-Assistance returns.

IRS Online Tools

www.irs.gove/refunds

Where’s My Refund?

“Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily, usually overnight, so there’s no reason to check more than once per day or call the IRS to get information about a refund. Taxpayers can easily find the most up-to-date information about their tax refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov and on the official IRS mobile app, IRS2Go. Taxpayers can start checking on the status of their refund within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an e-filed return, or four weeks after a paper return is mailed. Where’s My Refund? tool has a tracker that displays progress through three stages:

    1. Return received,
    2. Refund approved, and
    3. Refund sent.

IRS2Go

IRS2Go is the official mobile app of the IRS allowing users to check their refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, access and use Free File, plus more! The app is free on Google Play, the Apple store and Amazon. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Use IRS2Go first for information and self-service resources to:

  • Find free face-to-face help (if you qualify) at a VITA/TCE site
  • Check Where’s My Refund?
  • Use the Free File Software Lookup Tool
  • Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips, view IRS YouTube videos and follow the IRS on social media
  • Use Direct Pay or make a debit or credit card payment
www.irs.gov/account

Online Account

Online Account allows individual taxpayers to access certain account information and tools via self-service online at IRS.gov/account, including:

  • The amount you owe, updated for the current calendar day
  • Your balance details by year
  • Your payment history and any scheduled or pending payments
  • Key information from your most recent tax return, including your Adjusted Gross Income
  • Payment plan details, if you have one
  • Digital copies of select notices from the IRS
  • Your Economic Impact Payments (EIP 1 and EIP 2), if any

From Online Account you can also:

  • Make a payment online
  • See payment plan options and request a plan via Online Payment Agreement

Access your tax records via Get Transcript Make note that your balance will update no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Check or money order payments may take up to 3 weeks to appear in your account.

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