Families in our community that are financially secure are less dependent on social services and are able to focus on work, children, and more. Free tax help services help put deserved money back in the pockets of local individuals and families. People use this money to pay their rent and mortgage, buy groceries, pay for child support, start a savings account, and much more. Federal tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and State of Montana credits like the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit (2EC) help people build their financial stability. Click here to see what some local residents spent their 2015 refunds on.

HEAR HOW THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT HAS HELPED PEOPLE IN THE HELENA AREA GROW THEIR INCOME STABILITY.

WHAT

The Lewis and Clark County Free Tax Help Coalition works together to administer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA),Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and American Association of Retired People (AARP) free tax sites here in the Helena community. These free tax assistance programs provide low to moderate income earners (<$53,000 combined income), individuals with disabilities, and elderly individuals with free tax preparation by IRS certified volunteer tax preparers. For more information on the programs, visit www.montanafreefile.org

Want to stay at home and do your taxes in your pajamas for free? If you have a household income under $60,000, you can! Visit www.myfreetaxes.com.

2016 Lewis and Clark Co. Sites 

Click here to learn about all the local free tax help sites in the Helena area. Free tax help sites include the Lewis and Clark Library, Rocky Mountain Development Council’s Neighborhood Center, Helena College, Good Samaritan Thrift Store and Ministries, Trico Community Federal Credit Union, Helena Community Credit Union, and East Helena Methodist Church. Times and appointment requirements vary!

Information on free tax sites statewide are available at www.montanafreefile.org.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

IRS-certified volunteers are able to provide tax assistance to individuals and families completing basic tax returns. For more information on eligibility, click here. Preparers cannot prepare complicated returns with:
– Schedule C with losses
-Complicated and Advanced Schedule D
-Schedule F
-Schedule E
-Form 8606

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?

Click here for a list of items to bring. Remember, everyone will have different circumstances. It is important to bring all tax documents. Click here for a comprehensive list.

WHY FREE TAX HELP?

In 2015, VITA, TCE and AARP volunteer tax preparers in Lewis and Clark County completed over 1,000 state and federal tax returns, helping local families realize financial refunds that collectively came close to $1,000,000. These sites help eligible community members capture important federal tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit as well as state credits such as the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit. These tax credits help community members build income stability by putting needed dollars back into their pockets.

WHAT IS THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit for low- and moderate- income working people.  Only four out of five people who are eligible for the EITC claim it.

Am I eligible for the EITC?

The EITC is called one of the most effective federal anti-poverty programs in our country. The EITC and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) both greatly reduce poverty for working families. These working-family tax credits lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty in 2013, including 5 million children and helped 22 million other people build their income stability. These are big numbers and big impact.

What about other tax credits?

There are many tax credits that you may be eligible for. Find out more about federal tax credits and State of Montana tax credits, so that you can take advantage of all the credits that you may be eligible for!

WHO

Here are just a few of the partners in the community that make free tax help possible:

IRS
Montana Dept. of Revenue
Rural Dynamics, Inc.
United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area
AARP – Montana
Montana Legal Services Association – Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
Retired Senior Volunteer Program

Read more about the most recent tax season successes by clicking here. 

VOLUNTEER

Volunteer to use your talents to help fellow Montanans file their taxes free of charge and claim often overlooked credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Elderly Homeowner/Renter, Property Tax Assistance Program, and more.

There are many opportunities to volunteer at a tax site in the Helena area. You do not need to be a tax expert- you just need a willingness and interest to learn. A variety of volunteer jobs are available, including tax preparer, greeter and intake specialist, and more. To learn how you can become a VITA volunteer, click here.