Avoid tax preparation loans and fees
Free tax preparation help available through Community Action Partnership
January 6, 2009 - If you need help filing your taxes, you don’t have to pay a high fee or take out a costly loan. Every year, millions of families nationwide fail to claim tax credits for which they are eligible. Billions of dollars are unclaimed.
If you are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, free income tax preparation assistance for 2008 state and federal taxes is available beginning Tuesday, Jan. 20, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).
The Community Action Partnership and several other local agencies will offer free tax preparation help for families with a household income under $40,000. Trained and certified VITA volunteers make sure individuals and families claim every tax benefit they are entitled to receive. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit can be worth up to $2,917 and is credited directly to taxpayers even if they owe no tax. Taxpayers may also qualify for the Child Care Tax Credit, which entitles families with children age 16 and younger to a $1,000 per child credit. For faster refunds, tax forms are filed electronically and refunds are deposited directly to a checking or savings account.
“Last year, the VITA coalition accounted for $1,410,386 in earned income tax credits and $3,314,916 in total refunds,” said Debra Davenport, Project Coordinator for the VITA program. “It’s exciting to know the impact we have on the community by aiding people in receiving the money that they’ve worked hard for all year. Our plan is to do even more this year.”
To receive free tax-filing services, you must provide the following information:
- Photo ID.
- All W-2 forms for wages earned in 2008.
- Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers for you and all persons included on your tax return.
- Any correspondence you received from the IRS in 2008.
- 1098 and 1099 forms, if applicable.
- The amount of any stimulus refund you received.
- If you had childcare expenses in 2008, bring the provider’s Social Security number or Employer ID number and address. Also bring documentation that shows what you paid to the provider, including the amount paid for each child.
- Bring your checking and/or savings account numbers if you want your refund directly deposited. Direct deposit means a faster refund by seven to ten days, but for those who prefer, a refund check can be mailed.
Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 20, tax filers may call the Community Action Partnership office at (937) 341-5000 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available at the office at 719 S. Main Street in Dayton Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Youth Empowerment Center, 716 E. Main Street in Trotwood, will have appointments on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call (937) 913-2000 to schedule an appointment at that site.