Bay Area

Where to Find Free Tax Help

Helpful Links to See if You Qualify

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  • This article was updated on February, 8, 2023 to reflect updates for filing your 2022 tax returns.

You don’t necessarily have to battle your 1040 tax form yourself. Many families qualify for free help to figure and file their taxes-- both federal and state. Here are a few links to help get you started.


The Internal Revenue Service has two programs, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Program. 

You can learn more about them via this link.

United Way Bay Area

Through the IRS VITA program, the United Way in the San Francisco Bay Area says it has lined up local volunteers who might be able to help you fill out and file your federal and state tax returns. Options include video sessions, an online portal or in-person assistance at about 50 Bay Area locations -- sometimes by just walking up.  

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You can learn more about how, when, and where via this link.

Free File

If you just want to file your federal return for free, you might qualify to use an online system that walks you through the process step by step. Several well-known tax preparation companies participate in this free federal program. Generally, your family’s adjusted gross income must be less than $73,000.  

You can learn more about which companies participate via this link.

NBC Bay Area Consumer Investigator Chris Chmura explains where to get free help with filling out and filing your tax returns in 2023.


For members of the U.S. military, free tax help might be available. MilTax says it offers “personalized support that address the realities of military life,” such as deployments, combat and training pay, housing rentals, multistate filings, etc. 

You can learn more about it via this link.


In 2023, the IRS' deadline to file your federal returns is April 18. However, because of the winter storms, most California residents have an automatic extension until October 16. October 16 is also the deadline for California state taxes too.

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