How you can file your taxes for free

The time of year to get your taxes done is quickly approaching, and we have a way you can get them done for free.

The IRS is offering to prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software.

You can let Free File do the hard work for you with brand-name software or Free File Fillable Forms.

For more information and to prepare and file your federal income tax return for free, click here.

The IRS also offers tax filing assistance with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which is a program that offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. To see if you qualify, click here.

Many tax preparation companies also offer a free online version. Nerd Wallet breaks down the top software for 2020.

What should I bring to my tax appointment?

Information via United Way VITA:

  • A copy of last year’s federal return if available
  • Valid Photo ID for all adults
  • Social Security Cards or ITINs for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter (Must be originals, photocopies not accepted)
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
  • If you are married and filing jointly, your spouse must be present with you.
    Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
  • Form 1095-A Health insurance marketplace information
  • Form 1095-B Health coverage information from another source (optional, if provided)
  • Form 1095-C Health coverage information from another source (optional, if provided)
  • Health Insurance Exempt Certificate (if provided)
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks—Form 1099, 1098-T or forms received form the IRS that indicate on the form that it is for tax purposes.
  • Savings or Checking account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check ** Consider splitting your refund into two (2) accounts to save for an emergency
  • Total paid to daycare provider, their business name, Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number, and address
  • If self-employed: Completed proof of all income and expenses. (see notes above)

United Way free tax prep proposed site locations 2020 (Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties)

All locations are proposed by United way and subject to change. Visit the Volunteer Income Tax Taxes Free Assistance page for current locations. Remember: Appointments are required unless locations say otherwise.

United Way notes they cannot prepare returns with:

  • Rental income
  • Small business Schedule C with business losses, expenses over $25,000, depreciation, or employees
  • Complicated Schedule D (capital gains and losses)
  • Schedule K-1s (investment income only)

Bonita United Way House
Goodwill Job-Link
26820 Old 41 Rd
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Monday/Tuesday: 5-7:30pm

Café of Life-Bonita Springs
10540 Childers Street
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Saturday: 9am-3pm

Cape Coral- Crosspoint Church
204 SW 11th Place
Cape Coral, FL 33991
Wednesday: 3pm-6pm

Cape Coral –Water’s Edge Church
2213 Country Club Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Monday: 5-8pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm

Estero/San Carlos United Way House
Interfaith Charities Year Round Site
17592 Rockefeller Circle
Fort Myers, FL 33967
Tuesday 1-4
Wed and Sat 9-2
Thursday 9-2 and 5-8

Englewood – Lemon Bay H.S.
2201 Placida Rd
Englewood, FL 34224
Thursday: 4:30pm-7:30pm

Fort Myers Downtown
City of Palms Park
2201 Edison Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901
(Entrance on 2305 Broadway, 3rd Floor)
Monday & Thursday: 12-5pm
Tuesday (only in nFebruary) 12-5pm

Fort Myers- Palm Beach Goodwill
4162 Palm Beach Boulevard
Fort Myers FL 33905
(239) 694.4915
Friday 9am – 1pm

Fort Myers United Way – Year-Round Site
7273 Concourse Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Saturday 11am-4pm
Mon. 12-4

North Ft Myers- Health Department
83 Pondella Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33903
Tuesday, 1pm-4pm
Saturday 9am – 12pm

LaBelle United Way House- Year Round Site
133 North Bridge Street
LaBelle, FL 33935
Tuesday, Thursday: 5-8pm

LaBelle Goodwill Community Resource Center
91 S Lee St, LaBelle, FL 33935
(863) 675-8585
Tuesday 9am – 3pm

Lehigh Acres Goodwill
2825 Lee Blvd.
Lehigh, FL 33971
(239) 369.8500
Wednesday 9-4pm

Lehigh United Way House- Year Round Site
Lehigh Community Services
201 Plaza Drive, Suite 103
Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 5-8pm
Saturday: 9am-5pm
Tuesday: (WALK-IN) VALET Drop off Service ONLY
9am-5pm (drop off Tues, Pick up next Tues)

Okeechobee-Indian River State College
2229 NW 9th Avenue
Okeechobee, FL 34972
Monday, 2pm-6pm

Port Charlotte- United Way Office
17831 Murdock Circle, Suite A
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Tuesday: 4:30-7:30

Punta Gorda – Baker Center
311 E Charlotte Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Wednesday: 4:30-7:30

Sanibel-Captiva United Way House
2430-B Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957
Select Fridays: 9am-3pm

Sanibel Library
770 Dunlop Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957
Feb. 20, March 12 & 19 – 3pm to 7pm

Reporter:Allison Gormly
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