There is no shame in seeking help to file your state and federal taxes. Our tax laws are complex, intimidating and constantly changing. The penalties for making mistakes may cause you fear and frustration when it comes time to file taxes. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can find and receive free tax preparation in Kansas City. The following services may assist you with your tax problems and help you receive the maximum amount on your return.
Option #1: Next Step KC: Next Step KC has several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in Kansas City. Professional volunteers working for these programs assist taxpayers with incomes of $54,000 or less. Two weeks ago, our blog discussed a Next Step KC VITA program at Johnson County Community College. However, there are many other VITA locations in Kansas City. For a listing of these programs, including the location and times you can receive assistance, visit Next Step KC’s website. You can call 2-1-1 for further information on specific programs, including how to set up appointments for filing your taxes.
Option #2: Use the IRS website: You can also use the IRS website to locate VITA and tax counseling for the elderly (TCE) services near your work or home address. A TCE service offers free tax filing for individuals 60 and older. Simply enter your ZIP code and input the number of miles from the address to pull up multiple options. For example, if we input 64101 into the website’s search engine and select 10 miles, the website lists 15 results. If you are able, you should call these services beforehand for more details.
Option #3: AARP’s Tax-Aide program: This program has existed since the late 1960s. If you are 50 and older, the AARP’s Tax-Aide program is a helpful and free option. The Tax-Aide program has more than 5,000 locations across the US, including more than 30 in and around Kansas City. This program can also provide online tax assistance. Volunteers will answer your questions on taxes or the IRS.
Option #4: H&R Block/United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.com: If your income is $64,000 or less and you want to e-file taxes, H&R Block provides free filing software. Visit myfreetaxes.com, and you will be redirected to H&R Block’s website to set up an account. After an account is created, you can start filing from a computer or smartphone. The software walks you through the process and provides support when needed, making it a less time-consuming form of free assistance. This service is provided through United Way.
For the first three options, it is essential to call beforehand and ask which documents and forms of identification to bring. The last thing you want to do is show up without the proper documentation and be turned away!
Where Can You Receive Legal Services for Past Due or Existing Tax Debt?
Some people require legal services to resolve tax matters. For example, tax filers who are being audited by the IRS or those that have accumulated back taxes.
There are legal services in Kansas City for eligible individuals who need assistance with tax problems (such as audits). Kansas City’s Tax Clinic is operated through the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and is staffed by UMKC School of Law students. All staff are supervised by experienced professionals. Call the program at 816-235-6201 to see if you qualify for free services.
A bankruptcy attorney can also help people struggling with tax problems. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may clear past due taxes. However, your situation must meet certain criteria to qualify for this option. Even if your tax debts are nondischargeable through bankruptcy, there may be other solutions. For example, you may benefit from an installment agreement with the IRS. This option would set up monthly payments with the IRS, allowing you to pay your back taxes over time. An offer in compromise may be another possible option. In this scenario, the IRS may accept a smaller payment in return for forgiving your remaining tax debts. We encourage you to explore our website or call our office to receive more details on these options.
The Kansas City bankruptcy attorneys at The Sader Law Firm can help you discover available solutions for managing your tax debts.