Due to safety precautions and health care guidelines during the pandemic, the IRS has determined that the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for Elderly (TCE) programs will not be operating at full capacity, with many sites temporarily closed for an undetermined period of time. There are several alternative ways for eligible residents to receive free income tax filing assistance - online or by phone. (Get the most up-to-date information at the IRS.) Learn more information.
Facilitated Self-Assistance Sites
In consultation with the IRS, the Northern Virginia CASH coalition VITA and TCE sites will change from in-person services to Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) services. This is similar to the traditional VITA/TCE programs but uses IRS-certified income tax preparers to assist filers in their tax return preparation. The main difference between the traditional volunteer preparation and FSA boils down to who does most of the preparation. As the name suggests, FSA puts the taxpayer in charge of their taxes by walking them through their taxes (online or by phone) with free computer tax preparation software.
FSA services will begin on Friday, Feb 12.
Visit IRS.gov for a variety of online resources and tax help including tax forms, instructions and publications, online payment options, and to file with IRS Free File – free for most taxpayers.
IRS Free File Options
The IRS Free File Program is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many tax preparation and filing software industry leaders who provide their brand-name products for free. It provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free:
1) Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites. IRS partners are online tax preparation companies that develop and deliver this service at no cost to qualifying taxpayers. Please note, only taxpayers whose adjusted gross income (or AGI) is $72,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers;
2) Free File Fillable Forms are electronic federal tax forms you can fill out and file online for free. If you choose this option, you should know how to prepare your own tax return. Please note, it is the only IRS Free File option available for taxpayers whose income (AGI) is greater than $72,000.
Beginning in March, the Fairfax County Department of Family Services and local IRS-certified VITA volunteers will be hosting a weekly webinar series discussing various topics on preparing and filing tax returns, tax law changes, as well as answering frequently asked questions. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, engage with the tax professionals, and see the step-by-step process of filing their basic return through the IRS Free File link. Get more information on the webinar series.
*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, send an email or call 703-533-5702; TTY 711.