Take Time for Taxes: Use IRS Resources to Prepare for Tax Season
With tax season just around the corner, it's never too early to start preparing and thinking about the best way for you to file your taxes. You may also be eligible for certain tax-related forms of government assistance that you didn't know existed.

This year, the deadline to file tax returns for income earned in 2013 is April 15, 2014. Once you've collected your documentation of income, donations, investments, and other important transactions, consider using IRS Free-File or IRS e-file. These fast, safe and free ways to file your taxes will be available on January 31, and will ensure that you get your refund as easily as possible.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers advice and assistance to taxpayers through resources like the IRS Tax Assistant, an online tool, and the IRS Guide to Free Tax Services. The IRS Frequently Asked Questions page can also help you quickly find answers to specific questions about your taxes.

If you need more personal help, let Benefits.gov be your guide to the following tax-related forms of government assistance that you may be eligible for:

Low-income taxpayers may be eligible to attend a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). These free tax preparation clinics are located around the country and are held to help those who cannot afford professional tax assistance, or who speak English as a second language (ESL), and need help understanding their taxpayer rights and responsibilities. Taxpayers with low to moderate incomes, disabilities, or limited English skills, in need of tax assistance can go to a local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. VITA sites may include community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, or shopping malls in your area, where volunteers are on-hand to help prepare basic tax returns for free. Some VITA sites even offer free electronic filing (e-filing).

Members of the military may also be eligible to participate in VITA. Military members should also be aware of Armed Forces Tax Benefits, which include tax credits and relief for special tax situations of active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Citizens over the age of 60 can receive free tax preparation, and often e-filing, assistance from IRS certified volunteers through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, offered at community locations across the country.

If you are still unable to resolve your tax issue or you have received a notice from the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service might be able to help. This service helps taxpayers navigate the IRS dispute process and can be used when your tax problem is posing a financial burden on your family or business.

Take the stress out of tax season by starting to prepare now! To find out if you are eligible for the programs listed above, or more than 1,000 other forms of government assistance, use our free and easy Benefit Finder by clicking the "Start Benefit Finder" button on our homepage. To view more tax-related programs, visit the Browse by Category page and select "Tax Assistance."