Free Tax Assistance
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
What Is VITA? The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
What Is TCE? The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provides free tax help to people with low-to-middle income with special attention to those aged 60 and older. Trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens. Volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
As part of the IRS-sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at approximately 9,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. Trained and certified AARP Tax-Aide volunteer-counselors are available in Oklahoma and a list of sites can be accessed by downloading the list below.
Assistance for Military Personnel and Their Families
The military is one of the strongest partners in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The AFTC oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide and serves as the main conduit for outreach to military personnel and their families.
Airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, and guardsmen and their families worldwide get tax preparation help at offices within their installations. These Military VITA sites provide free tax advice, tax preparation, and assistance to military members and their families. They are trained and equipped to address military specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and the effect of the new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) guidelines.
Most service members file their tax returns electronically at their tax centers and, by selecting direct deposit, receive their refunds in as little as one week. This combined effort ensures that service members receive free tax assistance from well-trained and equipped military tax preparers.
Please contact your base for more information.
What to Bring to a VITA or TCE Site
Items you need to bring
To have your tax return(s) prepared at a VITA or TCE site you need to bring the following information with you:
- Proof of identification – Picture ID
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
It is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number. The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card. If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application. This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office.
Where to Go: List of Oklahoma Tax Assistance Sites
Please Check back in January for a list of 2017 Oklahoma VITA and TCE Sites.