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Free Help With Your 1040

IRS, AARP operate tax-time assistance centers nationwide

Q. How can I get my taxes prepared without having to pay a fortune? My hours have been cut back at work and it's hard enough to cover my regular bills.

Free tax preparation

— Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A. Low- and moderate-income taxpayers can get their tax returns prepared free of charge by using the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Taxpayers generally must earn no more than $51,000 to qualify. Volunteer tax preparers are positioned at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools and shopping malls. Call 1-800-906-9887 for more information and to find a site near you.

AARP Foundation also offers free tax assistance, with special attention to people age 60 and older, through its Tax-Aide program. More than 35,000 volunteers help more than 2.6 million taxpayers file their federal, state and local tax returns each year.

Source: IRS, AARP

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at AARP Media.

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