seeking free tax advice?
January 27, 2006 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Seeking reliable, free-to-no-cost tax advice.

I am working on filing my US income taxes this year, but factoring in terms and conditions set forth by a divorce decree in 2005. I know what I'm supposed to do, but I'm not exactly sure HOW to do it - the tax software I've been using doesn't seem to wholly address how I'm supposed to work a few details out as far as things like only declaring 50% of my actual mortgage interest income, because my ex gets to claim the other 50%, and declaring half of her income, etc. as my own. Is it as simple as writing in half of the amount?

Should I bite the bullet and just pay to have someone prepare my taxes? It's difficult for me to cough up that money right now, and it's very likely I'll end up owing this year - which means I can't offset the cost with a refund.

Is there a resource (besides the IRS itself) I can contact to get advice without ponying up $35 a question? Trying to do this as cheaply (and safely) as possible. I fear I may have to have them done professionally.
posted by TeamBilly to Law & Government (7 answers total)
 
Should I bite the bullet and just pay to have someone prepare my taxes? It's difficult for me to cough up that money right now, and it's very likely I'll end up owing this year - which means I can't offset the cost with a refund.

Call some local tax professionals, explain your situation, and ask about the cost. You may be surprised to find that tax professionals are less expensive than you expect.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:50 AM on January 27, 2006


And, long term, tax preparation services are tax-deductible for the next year.
posted by unixrat at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2006


I had free help from a college student once. A group of them, who were in some kind of class or program, were providing the service for credit. Perhaps look into a community college? I'm not sure if you'd have to be a student, and reliability might be questionable.

Outside of that, I know you don't want to talk to the IRS itself, but they offer free help via volunteers; you may qualify for that. Also, I've never had a problem asking simple questions via telephone.
posted by moira at 10:59 AM on January 27, 2006


I ran across this publication; dunno if it helps at all.
posted by moira at 11:04 AM on January 27, 2006


In addition, here's a pdf publication of free tax services.
posted by moira at 11:07 AM on January 27, 2006


VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) has chapters at many colleges and law schools. You can find a local site by calling 1-800-829-1040.
posted by Coffeemate at 11:20 AM on January 27, 2006


The AARP offers free tax counseling (and not just for the over-55 set).
posted by box at 6:44 AM on January 28, 2006


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