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IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help
Covered CA prohibits agents giving tax advice
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help & Covered CA Subsidy compliance to individuals who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their taxes.
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 and older. The IRS certified VITA and TCE volunteers are trained to help with many tax questions, including credits such
Warning we just got from Covered CA
Per law and regulation, agents cannot initiate conversations regarding whether or not the consumer is a non-tax filer. Do not provide any tax filing advice under any circumstance or answer any tax filing questions – refer them to the consumer service center at 1-800-300-1506 with the Primary Tax Filer (or their Authorized Representative) on the line. Review the Tax Preparation Help for Consumers Handout that includes details about where consumers can find a licensed or registered tax preparer or low-cost tax preparation services. 9.14.2018 Agent Bulletin *
Check out where administrative law judge said he wished he could make Covered CA pay the costs of their bogus advise but didn’t have that authority Polk Case.
We are willing though to do research and show you what the law, rule, IRS Publication is. That way IMHO we don’t give advise and aren’t practising law.
More on VITA
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a significant tax credit for workers who earned $53,505 or less in 2016. The VITA and TCE programs can help answer many EITC questions and help taxpayers claim the credit if they qualify. Taxpayers may also use the IRS.gov EITC Assistant to help them determine their eligibility.
Before visiting a VITA or TCE site, taxpayers should review Publication 3676-B to be aware of the services provided. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, taxpayers can use the VITA and TCE locator tool available on IRS.gov, download the IRS mobile app IRS2GO or call 800-906-9887.
For assistance preparing a tax return at a VITA or TCE site, taxpayers must bring all required documents and information including:
- Proof of identification (photo ID) for taxpayer and spouse
- Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for those who do not have a Social Security number
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
- Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers and other payers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
- Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
- Total amount paid for daycare services and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
- Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
In addition, the military and the IRS join together to provide free tax assistance to military personnel and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Taxpayers that prefer to file their tax returns electronically have the option of using IRS Free File. IRS Free File offers brand-name tax software to taxpayers who earned $64,000 or less in 2016 to file their returns free. IRS.gov/freefile.
Resources & Links
California Tax Education Council: http://knowyourtaxpreparer.org/
Find trained, licensed and registered tax professionals
Board of Equalization: www.boe.ca.gov
Tax e-filing for businesses
CA Board of Accountancy: http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/consumers/select-acpa.shtml
How to Select a CPA
Franchise Tax Board: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/
E-File a tax return, form instructions, pay taxes, find free tax help
Turbo Tax: https://turbotax.intuit.com/best-tax-software/affordable-care-act/
Subsidy calculator, penalty calculator, informational videos
H&R Block- https://www.hrblock.com/aca-tax-impact/
Informational webpage, penalty calculator
IRS Face-To-Face Help Now By Appointment
an appointment is required for in-person tax help at all IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC).
IRS TACs continue to be a vital part of the service IRS provides when a tax issue cannot be resolved on-line or by phone. All IRS TACs now provide face-to-face service by-appointment. Instead of taxpayers going directly to their local TAC, they can call 844-545-5640 to reach an IRS representative, who is trained to either help them resolve their issue or schedule an appointment for them to get the help they need.
The Contact Your Local Office tool on IRS.gov helps taxpayers find the closest IRS TAC, the days and hours of operation, and a list of services provided. Studies show most taxpayers visit a TAC to make payments, inquire about a notice, ask about a refund, get a transcript or obtain a tax form. Many of these issues can be resolved at IRS.gov without traveling to an IRS office.
Check Publication 5136, the IRS Services Guide for additional information on available services.
Don’t Wait In Line
The IRS Tax Map allows taxpayers to search by topic or keyword for information.
IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Account Information
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today the launch of an online application that will assist taxpayers with straightforward balance inquiries in a safe, easy and convenient way.
This new and secure tool, available on IRS.gov allows taxpayers to view their IRS account balance, which will include the amount they owe for tax, penalties and interest. Taxpayers may also continue to take advantage of the various online payment options available by accessing any of the payment features including: direct pay, pay by card and Online Payment Agreement. As part of the IRS vision for the future taxpayer experience, the IRS anticipates that other capabilities will continue to be added to this platform as they are developed and tested.
“This new tool is part of the IRS’s commitment to improve and expand taxpayer services by providing additional online taxpayer options,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The new ‘balance due’ feature, paired with the existing online payment options, will increase the availability of self-service interactions with the IRS. This will give taxpayers another way to take care of their tax obligations in a fast and secure manner.”
Before accessing the tool, taxpayers must authenticate their identities through the rigorous Secure Access process. This is a two-step authentication process, which means returning users must have their credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent as a text to their mobile phones.
Taxpayers who have registered using Secure Access for Get Transcript Online or Get an IP PIN may use their same username and password. To register for the first time, taxpayers must have an email address, a text-enabled mobile phone in the user’s name and specific financial information, such as a credit card number or specific loan numbers. Taxpayers may review the Secure Access process prior to starting registration.
As part of the security process to authenticate taxpayers, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text. The IRS warns taxpayers that it will not initiate contact via text or email asking for log-in information or personal data. The IRS texts and emails will only contain one-time codes.
In addition to this new functionality, the IRS continues to provide several self-service tools and helpful resources available on IRS.gov for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.
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Free help to file taxes VITA
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
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