MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Get free help for your tax returns - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Get free help for your tax returns

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

You have exactly 26 days to complete your tax forms and file them.

For those who may need a little guidance, NBC12's Diva of Discounts shows you how you can get it for free.

AARP has helped seniors and low-income earners finish their taxes at no cost for 45 years. AARP partners with organizations like Goodwill, helping more than one hundred people a week at the Richmond and Petersburg locations. Volunteers are all local and IRS certified.

Metrocash can help low-to-moderate-income taxpayers file their returns for free. If you make less than $51,000 a year, you qualify for assistance. Professionals review your paperwork and file your taxes electronically, making sure deductions like the earned income tax credit are not overlooked. Metrocash has dozens of locations and is the only IRS-backed organization in the Richmond area.

If you'd like to do it yourself without buying the software, you have two options, but only if your 2012 income was below $57,000. "IRS free file" lets you choose from more than a dozen participating software companies. Filing your federal returns using the software on this site is absolutely free. Most have added fees for filing state returns, but there are a few that let you do it for free.

More than 2 million Virginians qualify to file state and federal returns using the Virginia Department of Taxation's "free file". Like the IRS site, it has seven different tax programs to choose from - and none of them will cost you any money.

If you want help from Metrocash, it's best to call beforehand. Certain locations require an appointment.

Helpful links:

http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action
http://www.metrocash.org/
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free
http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=FreeFile

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