Consumer Protection

Tax Preparation

Filing your tax return is not optional. While many people choose to prepare their own taxes, others seek the assistance of a tax preparation service.

Before using a tax preparer:

  • Compare the prices and fees of multiple preparers. Prices can vary significantly.
  • Check to see if you are eligible for one of the free options listed below.
  • Check the qualifications and reputation of the person handling your personal information. You are responsible for the information submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Make sure the preparer has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS.
  • Ask whether your tax preparer is open throughout the year in case you or the IRS have follow-up questions.

Free tax preparation

Many Arkansans can utilize the IRS’s Free File program. This web-based program is a free federal tax preparation and electronic filing program for approximately 70% of taxpayers who earn less than $60,000 in annual adjusted gross income. Eligible consumers can go to and choose from multiple private companies that will file federal returns at no charge.

If you cannot afford to pay for tax preparation assistance, you may also be eligible to receive free help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Consumers can call (800) 829-1040 for information about VITA volunteer locations near them. Additionally, seniors can contact AARP at (888) 227-7669 to find the nearest TCE Tax-Aide site.