20 Mar How and Where to File Your Taxes for FREE!
Why pay $60, $120, $400 to get your taxes done when you can prepare and file them for free? Below we have some great resources for you including a great option without any income restrictions. Please help us spread the word and save yourself and your friend’s money this tax season! Speaking of saving money, tax refunds are a great way to start or boost your savings for down payment, emergency fund, revolving savings account, or 529 education plan. Create a plan for your tax refund before you get it to ensure you use it to help reach your goals!
Click here to read about avoiding tax-refund identity theft. Our #1 tip is to FILE EARLY!
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA):
If you (and your partner, if filing jointly) made under $54,000 in 2017 you can have a certified tax preparer help you file your taxes for FREE at a VITA tax clinic. There are some sites that are open once a week or even just for a one-day event that might be closer to you than the larger sites that remain open throughout the season. These sites can be found throughout the state.
Visit https://utahtaxhelp.org/ or call 211 and they will help you schedule an appointment at a tax clinic near you. Call soon as appointment times fill up. Some sites also accept walk-ins.
University of Utah VITA Clinic:
Available to anyone, but of course, a great resource for students, there are great tax preparers available at the Student Union as well as one-day clinics at various campus locations.
Westminster Pro-Bono Tax Clinic:
This tax clinic has no income limits! Available to anyone, including non-resident aliens (who cannot be helped at the VITA clinics). It is has a convenient location and hours in the evenings and Saturdays. By appointment or walk-in at Salt Lake County building 2001 S. State Street, Salt Lake City.
Visit https://westminstertaxclinic.com/ to get more information, set an appointment, find a checklist of items to bring, and some forms to fill out in advance.
Prepare and file your own online:
If you (and your partner, if filing jointly) made under $66,000 in 2017 you can prepare your own taxes online for FREE, including your state filing. Many websites like H&R Block, TurboTax, etc will allow you to file your federal return for free, but typically not your state return. Or, if you want to itemize your deductions or you have an HSA account it is no longer free. By utilizing the special link provided at the VITA website https://utahtaxhelp.org/ you will be able to file you’re slightly more complicated federal AND state return for free, which will make life much easier and possibly save you $60 or more! The link redirects you to use H&R Block, but a completely free version.
The S.J. Quinney College of Law offers a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. This clinic is specifically for taxpayers who have problems or disputes with the IRS and cannot afford to pay for an attorney or other assistance. Issues such as Innocent Spouse Relief Requests, Injured Spouse Claims, audits, tax liens, settlements, or self-employment are all covered here. Visit www.UtahTaxClinic.org to find out more about how they can help you.
Be sure to have proper documentation to take advantage of helpful tax credits and deductions:
- Social security number or ITIN for each family member (including kids)
- All W-2’s, 1099’s, 1098’s received
- Copy of last year’s tax return
- Form 1095-A: proof of health insurance for the healthcare tax credit
- Forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA)
- Childcare provider name, address, and tax ID number as well as total paid by you in 2017
- If you plan to itemize your deductions you will also need: any forms or letters showing charitable donations, taxes paid for car registrations and sales tax from the purchase of a care or other large purchase, 1098 from mortgage company showing interest and property taxes paid.
- Bank routing and account numbers for deposit of refund
- Valid email address
Ask about these credits:
-Child tax credit (up to $1000 per child under age 17)
-Earned Income Tax Credit (for low to moderate income, often missed by eligible taxpayers)
-Child and Dependent Care tax credit (childcare costs for kids under 13)
-Retirement Savers tax credit (contributions to 401(k) or IRA)
-Credit for Elderly and Disabled (over 65 or permanent disability, with a small earned income)
-Energy Credits (for energy upgrades in your home including appliances, lights, windows)
-American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits (education and job training expenses)