The American Institute of CPAs and the American Association of Attorney-CPAs have partnered with the Internal Revenue Service to offer free tax return preparation assistance to some taxpayers impacted by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Volunteers at the agency's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites can now refer taxpayers needing help with relatively complex tax issues to participating members of the professional associations.

VITA and TCE volunteers generally are not trained to compute casualty loss deductions or to complete amended returns for prior years. Low- to moderate-income taxpayers (earning $38,000 or less) can now receive free assistance from the AICPA or AAA-CPA. Previously, those groups and other professional tax associations had provided free assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster recovery centers. A number of tax organizations continue to provide assistance through those sites.

Eligible taxpayers need to first visit a VITA or TCE site, which can be located by calling the IRS at (800) 829-1040, or by calling TCE sponsor AARP at (888) 227-7669.

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