More Tax Resources
File for Free Online
If your household earned less than $66,000 in 2017, you can file both federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. This is the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit. Some "free" tax preparation products only offer federal (not state) filings, or charge extra for anything beyond the most basic forms. MyFreeTaxes is completely free for individuals and families who earned less than $66,000. The software is powered by H&R Block's premium software, so filing is easy, secure, and guaranteed to be 100% accurate. If you have any questions along the way, IRS-certified specialists are ready to answer your questions in real time.
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 Taxpayer Clinic
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC) assist low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection matters, and other tax disputes. Services are provided for free or for a small fee. There are two LITCs in Colorado:
- The University of Denver Graduate Tax Program’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) 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
- Colorado Legal Services in Denver, Colorado. Call them at 303-837-1321 or visit their website to learn more.
Going 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, 2018 and more will expire 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.
- Utilize our outreach toolkit in English and Spanish, which includes e-mail and newsletter copy, talking points and social media posts.
- 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 2017, 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 2017 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, 2018. 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 a penalty in 2018! 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.
Additional Tax Credits
In addition to the Earned Income Tax Credit, the following are other federal and state tax credits that benefit working families.
The Child Tax Credit
A federal tax credit worth up to $1,000 for each child under the age of 17 claimed on a tax return. Learn more.
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
This federal credit helps families pay for childcare while they are working or looking for employment. It is also available to families that must pay for the care of a spouse or adult depending who is incapable of caring for themselves. Learn more.
American Opportunity Tax Credit
This credit helps students and families pay for expenses incurred during the first four years of post-secondary education. It is worth $2,500 per eligible student each year. Learn more.
Lifetime Learning Credit
This credit helps students pay for expenses like tuition, books and supplies during each year of post-high school education. It is worth up to $2,000 per eligible student each year. Learn more.
Saver’s Tax Credit
This credit, which is referred to as the "Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions," rewards workers who make contributions to a retirement plan or Individual Retirement Plan (IRA), and it can be worth from 10 to 50 percent of a maximum $2,000 contribution. Learn more.
Colorado provides a Property/Rent/Heat Credit for low-income seniors and disabled individuals. Learn more.