Finding free tax help

Agencies offer free tax help for those in need

By Tony Statz - Producer
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If you've heard about the high price some tax preparers charge, don't forget there is free assistance available for those who qualify.

This late in the tax season, it will likely be more challenging to get an appointment, but you should earmark this information for 2015 as well.

Organizations like the AARP, United Way, and the Accounting Aid Society all can point you in the direction of free, competent tax assistance.

The AARP has several locations in the Detroit area and over 100 in the state of Michigan that offer tax payers peace of mind during the stressful tax season. The organization offers free tax preparation to people with low-to-moderate income, especially those 60 and older.

"There are volunteers that really want to help you with this service and are really here to champion for you," said Vivian Vasallo, Vice-President of the AARP Foundation.

While no one will be turned away, the AARP is primarily targeting seniors who need the free help.

Other Resources for Free Help

Along with AARP, organizations like the Accounting Aid Society help fill folks in need. "We will help single tax payers up to $35,000 of income, families up to $52,000 for free," said Marshall Hunt of the Accounting Aid Society.

Heading into the final weekend of the season, a spokeswoman tells Ruth to the Rescue most of its agents are booked.

There will be an opportunity for walk-in assistance on April 12th at the Main Detroit Public Library on Woodward. Agents will be ready to help at 10 a.m., but they can only serve about the first 40 people. There could be a line to receive that free help.

The Accounting Aid Society also offers a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) option, with free online software and hotline support (which is unique to us). Tax filers making $58,000 or less (which is higher than the in-person guidelines) must access this DIY option via our website.

And, the Accounting Aid Society begins its spring/summer tax help the week of April 28. You can get help if you missed the deadline, have back taxes, or want to start planning for 2015. You can call for an appointment 313-556-1920 or see the web link below. There are five locations: one in Ferndale and four in Detroit.

The IRS also offers a resource to help you find free assistance. The agency offers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs for those who qualify. Learn more at

Information on AARP Tax Aide Locations

Accounting Aid Society

United Way

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