The Internal Revenue Service recently awarded over $41 million in Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grants to organizations that provide free federal tax return preparation.
This year, the IRS awarded grants to 34 TCE and 300 VITA applicants. The IRS received 379 applications requesting over $70 million.
The TCE program, established in 1978, provides free tax counseling and federal return preparation to individuals who are age 60 or older. Volunteers receive training and technical assistance to provide assistance at community locations across the nation.
The VITA program, created in 1969, assists underserved communities, such as low- and moderate-income individuals and limited English proficient taxpayers. VITA grant recipients provide free federal tax return preparation and electronic filing. The grant program helps to expand VITA services to underserved populations.
The IRS forms partnerships with a wide variety of organizations across the country to develop VITA and TCE programs. Community partners include non-profit agencies, faith-based organizations, community centers and large employers. The IRS provides tax law training, certification and oversight to these organizations assisting their efforts to prepare accurate returns.