DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Are Tax Sites Accessible?

Filing income tax is one of the inevitable facts of life. From the Internal Revenue Service site to those of tax preparation services, it’s important that these sites be accessible for people who are visually impaired. With tax season in full swing, we have checked out the IRS and other sites to gather information about accessibility. The IRS website includes an policy
summarizing website features for people who use assistive technologies, including alt text for images, HTML equivalents for many PDF files, and the use of screen readers. Since 2002 Free File has provided millions of Americans the opportunity to prepare and file returns electronically, free of charge for those with adjusted gross incomes up to $72,000. However, the IRS Free File Alliance “has delivered tax preparation choices that are limited at best for taxpayers who are blind and visually impaired.” Although affiliated with the IRS, Free File provider sites are not always accessible, since they are linked with but not part of the IRS website. Free File vendors include major tax preparation services utilized by Free File and non-Free File tax payers. An informative article from the American Foundation for the Blind’s “Access World” provides an analysis and recommendations for using this service that can be helpful to all taxpayers with vision impairment: Evaluating IRS Free File. Tax preparation sites cited in the article (from 2014) as accessible that are current Free File vendors are 1040.com, Free Tax USA, Free 1040 Tax Return.com, and Tax Slayer. For additional insights and specific pointers on Free File vendors, check this out. And, finally, from the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, a summary of: Why Web Accessibility Is So Important During Tax Season