More Tax Resources
In addition to filing your taxes for free at one of Tax Help Colorado’s free tax sites, there are other free filing options and tax help available.
File Free Taxes Online
The IRS offers free online tax preparation and electronic filing. To qualify for free online filing through the IRS, your adjusted gross income must be $64,000 or less. Learn more.
Contact the IRS
To receive help from the IRS over the phone, call 1-800-829-1040.
In addition, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers are your source for personal tax help when your tax issue can’t be handled online or by phone. Learn more.
Low-Income Tax Payer Clinic
The University of Denver Graduate Tax Program’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) provides tax advice and representation to low-income taxpayers before the IRS in audits, appeals, collection issues and federal tax litigation. The LITC is staffed by students in the University of Denver’s Graduate Tax Program, and it is supervised by tax law attorneys. To make an appointment, call 303-871-6331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What To Do If You Go To A Paid Preparer
For those unable to access one of the 120 free tax sites across Colorado or unable to file for free online, visiting a paid preparer may be the only option. If you do use a paid preparer, please keep in mind there are currently no state laws regulating tax preparers. Although most paid tax professionals follow IRS regulations, are up to date on federal and state tax laws, and want to provide you with the best service, there are some preparers that may use fraudulent practices while preparing returns. When visiting a paid tax professional, use the following tips as a guideline to make sure you are getting the best service:
Check the person’s qualification or credentials.
Ask if they’ve participated in any type of training for the current tax year.
The average tax preparation fee is around $250. Ask what their fee is for preparing an average tax return (with Schedule EIC) and ask if there are any reasons that fee may increase after starting your return.
Ask what they are doing to secure your personal information.
Ask how you can contact them outside of tax season.
Never sign a blank return.
Make sure the paid preparer signs your tax forms and includes his or her preparer tax identification number (PTIN). You can find this information at the bottom of Form 1040 page 2.
If you do experience abusive tax preparers, file a complaint here.
You can find more information on choosing a tax preparer here.
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a number issued by the IRS to help individuals who cannot obtain a social security number to file their taxes. In the past, a taxpayer applied for and received an ITIN only once. Recent changes to the ITIN program include a requirement that taxpayers renew their ITINs. These changes will require every ITIN holder to eventually renew based on when their ITIN was issued.
Certain ITINs have already expired as of January 1, 2017 and more will be expiring at the end of the year. Taxpayers with expired ITINs may be ineligible for certain tax credits or face delayed tax refunds. To avoid refund delays, taxpayers with expiring ITINs are encouraged to renew as soon as possible.
Learn who is affected this year and how they can renew by downloading this informational flier in English and Spanish.
Learn more about the ITIN renewal process from the IRS website.
Reporting Health Coverage
Under current health care laws, most people, including children, must have health coverage. Health coverage can include employer-provided insurance, coverage you bought on your own, Medicaid (Health First Colorado), CHP+ or Medicare. If you or your family didn’t have health coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fine. Before paying the fine, check here to see if you qualify for an exemption. If you do not qualify for an exemption, the fine for not having coverage in 2016 could be $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) or 2.5 percent of your yearly household income, whichever is greater. If you or your family had health coverage through:
Connect for Health Colorado: You will need a Form 1095-A to help report your coverage and reconcile tax credits you may have received. If you don’t receive the form by mid-February, check your online account for an electronic copy. If it’s not there, call Connect for Health Colorado, 1-855-PLANS-4YOU.
Medicaid (Health First Colorado), CHP+: You will need a Form 1095-B to help report your coverage. These forms should be mailed to you by January 31. If you don’t receive a form by mid-February, log in to Colorado.gov/PEAK to print a copy, or contact Medicaid at 1-800-221-3943.
Your Employer: Depending on the size of your company, your employer will send a Form 1095-C or Form 1095-B to help report your coverage. If you don’t receive a Form 1095-C or Form 1095-B, contact your employer benefits department.
Don’t get stuck paying an even higher penalty in 2017! You could qualify for free or lower-cost coverage. For more information visit www.connectforhealthco.com or call 1-855-PLANS-4You (1-855-752-6749). For a list of health coverage guides in your area, click here. When meeting with a health coverage guide, please bring the materials you would bring to a tax preparer. For a complete list of materials, click here.