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Free Local Help for Filing Taxes

Free Local Help for Filing Taxes - The Beacon

03-2014

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By: Michael

Free Local Help for Filing Taxes

Your BBB provides reports on businesses and non-profits offering assistance with tax preparation.  The IRS offers two programs that provide free tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income, elderly, disabled, and limited English speaking taxpayers.  Click here to visit the IRS Free Tax Return Preparation by Volunteers page.

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other locations.  Find one of thousands of VITA sites nearest you by using the VITA Locator Tool or call 1-800-906-9887.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.  A majority of the TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide Program. To locate the nearest TCE site or AARP Tax-Aide site between January and April use the AARP Site Locator Tool or call 888-227-7669, or in Evansville, call 211 or 421-2800.

In addition to traditional face-to-face tax preparation, the IRS is offering a self-assistance service at many VITA and TCE locations. If individuals have a simple tax return and need a little help or do not have access to a computer, they can visit one of the participating tax preparation sites and an IRS-certified volunteer will guide them.

Here is a list of the items you need to bring to have your tax return(s) prepared at a VITA or TCE site:

*Proof of identification – Picture ID.

*Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number.

*Verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or

*Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents.

*Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN.

*Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return.

*Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers.

*Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099).

*A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available.

*Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check.

*Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number. (The provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate.

NOTE: both spouses must be present to sign the required forms to file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.

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Michael

Michael is our Business Information Specialist and will be writing at least one article per week for the consumer education blog. He works with accredited businesses to ensure we maintain current contact information and licensing. He is usually first to answer the phone; so odds are good you will be speaking with him when calling our office.