Free Tax Assistance Offered

For Low Income and Other Qualified Taxpayers

Emily Gill
March 04, 2020 - 11:04 am
FREE TAX ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR LOW INCOME AND OTHER QUALIFIED TAXPAYERS

Getty Images

Categories: 

Released by the South Carolina Department of Revenue

Need help filing a simple tax return? Free assistance is available for qualified taxpayers.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

One of the best-known programs is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). These IRS-certified volunteers provide free, in-person assistance for individuals who make $56,000 or less a year, for people with disabilities, or those with limited English skills.

You'll need the following documents for your VITA appointment:

  • Last year's state and federal tax returns
  • Photo ID (if you're filing a joint return, your spouse will need to be present with their photo ID)
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number documents and birth dates for each taxpayer and dependent
  • All W-2s, 1098s, and 1099s
  • Form 1095 (Marketplace Health Insurance)
  • Information for all deductions and/or tax credits you believe you qualify for, like receipts for property taxes or tuition paid during the tax year
  • Total paid to a daycare provider, along with their tax ID number
  • Bank account information if you're expecting a tax refund and want to use direct deposit

VITA volunteers cannot prepare complex returns, or returns that include:

  • Schedule C with loss, depreciation, or business use of home
  • Complicated Schedule D (capital gains and losses)
  • Form 8606 (non-deductible IRA)

VITA sites are generally located in convenient locations like neighborhood centers, libraries, or schools. Find a VITA location near you at irs.treasury.go/freetaxprep or call 800-906-9887.

Other free tax assistance

  • Prepare your taxes free online through MyFreeTaxes.com, a partnership of United Way and H&R Block. All you need to get started is a copy of your W-2, which can be uploaded from your smartphone.
  • If your adjusted gross income is less than $65,000 ($95,000 if filing jointly) and you live in Berkeley, Charleston, or Dorchester counties, visit SCThrive.org/filetaxes/ or call 800-726-8774 for free taxpayer preparation assistance.
  • Free tax help for taxpayers 60 or older is available through the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. These IRS-certified volunteers can answer questions related to pensions and retirement-related issues. Most TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program, which offers free tax preparation help from February 1 through April 15. You don't have to be an AARP member. Call 888-227-7669 toll free or visit the Tax-Aide Site Locator to find a location in South Carolina.

If you don't need additional assistance or don't qualify for any of these offers, you may still be able to file for free using an approved provider or South Carolina Fillable Forms. The SCDOR does not endorse a particular tax filing product, group of products, or service provider.

Other filing tips to keep in mind for South Carolina returns: 

  • Choose online filing and direct deposit for fast and accurate transactions.  
  • When submitting your tax return, make sure your current mailing address is included, even if you're choosing direct deposit for your refund. 
  • File for free using SC Fillable Forms or other free online services for which you may qualify at dor.sc.gov/iit-filing

Connect with the SCDOR on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date news and announcements.

Comments ()