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North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Get Help Preparing Your Taxes


If you need free assistance preparing your taxes, there are a number of places to turn for help:

  • Taxpayers making $58,000 or less can use free tax preparation software through the IRS. When used with direct deposit, you may get your refund in as few as 10 days. For more information visit www.irs.gov/efile.
 
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is available at all branch locations of the State Employees’ Credit Union and the Local Government Federal Credit Union. VITA help is free for families earning less than $52,000. Families earning more are eligible for the Low-Cost Tax Preparation service, which charges a flat fee of $75. Many locations also offer self-assistance service, where consumers can access a computer to file on their own. Find a VITA site near you between January and April using the VITA Locator Tool or by calling 1-800-906-9887.

 
If you’re considering using a paid tax preparer:

  • Check their credentials and experience. Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints filed against the preparer.

  • Read any contracts or other paperwork carefully before you sign, and be sure to find out the total cost.

  • Remember, you can shop around to compare costs and services from several tax preparers.

  • Be skeptical of a preparer who tries to sell you an extra “guarantee” to cover you if they make a mistake on your tax returns.

  • Review your return carefully before you file it. Some unscrupulous preparers deliberately falsify returns, usually by claiming fake credits such as an education credit or child care credit. That leads to a larger refund, until the error is discovered by the IRS. The taxpayer is usually required to repay a portion of their refund, sometimes with additional interest and penalties.

  • If you have questions about something a tax preparer tells you about your taxes, check it out. You can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the NC Department of Revenue at 1-877-252-4052.