Get FREE income tax help, IRS to accept filings beginning January 31, 2014

Hard to believe but it's that time of year again--tax season.

The IRS will begin accepting returns January 31, but you can start preparing them right now.

And you don't have to pay big bucks for someone else's help.

In fact, there are several programs that can guide you through the process for free.

There are more than a dozen free income tax filing sites through

But not everyone qualifies for every site since they each have their own rules.

Most require that you made less than $58,000 last year.

However there are programs like that cap out at $30,000.

If you are between the ages of 16 and 69 is an option.

But if you are any younger, or any older is designed for your age group.

The free edition is offering a refunds rewards program this year

If you choose for a portion of your refund to go toward an gift card, will and an extra 5% to the value.

That value goes up to 10% if you use other editions.

Provided you meet the requirements, federal filing is free on all of these websites, but state returns may have a fee.

If you don't have a computer or are concerned that you'll make a mess of it, there are free options for you too.

Volunteer help centers are being set up across the state right now.

You get to meet with trained volunteers face to face, but they have their own rules too.

They include a $51,000 income cap and clients are helped on a first come first served basis.

If you need help or need to warn others about a consumer problem or scam, let me know at or by going to my  "Let Joe Know" Facebook page.

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