Sometimes, even when the tax question is a common one, getting the answer is not easy. This is particularly true for taxpayers with special needs, such as a physical disability, hearing impairment or language issues.
The Internal Revenue Service offers help for such taxpayers through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. It also operates a special TDD phone number that is available in both English and Spanish.
The VITA program has IRS-trained volunteers who provide free tax assistance at neighborhood locations such as churches, schools, libraries and community centers. VITA is aimed at those who may find it difficult to pay for tax assistance. These may include people with low or fixed incomes, non-English speakers, the elderly and people with disabilities or special needs.
More help for older filers is available through the agency’s TCE program. TCE is designed primarily for persons age 60 or older, particularly those individuals confined to their homes or retirement communities. Again, IRS-trained volunteers from local non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation to senior citizens. Volunteers may travel to individual’s homes in cases where taxpayers are unable to get to a local TCE site.
To find a local VITA or TCE clinic, call the IRS toll-free at (800) 829-1040.
Hearing-impaired taxpayers can get telephone help in both English and Spanish from the IRS by contacting the agency via its TDD hook-up. The toll-free TDD number is (800) 829-4059. Taxpayers without TDD equipment should check with local agencies for the hearing-impaired about getting access.
Additional information on tax laws that may affect persons with disabilities is available in IRS Publication 907, Information for Persons with Disabilities.