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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 $54,000 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
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is free for people who generally earn less than $54,000, people with disabilities, and people with limited English-speaking skills. Find a VITA site near you 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.