Here’s how taxpayers can prepare for an appointment at a volunteer tax prep site
Volunteers across the country file federal taxes at no charge for qualified individuals and families. With the filing deadline only a few days away, many people will be visiting a volunteer site over the next week and the IRS wants the experience to go as smoothly as possible.
The IRS sponsors two programs that are available to people with low-to-moderate incomes:
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: The VITA program offers free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers who generally earn $55,000 or less.
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly: TCE is mainly for people age 60 or older, but offers service to all taxpayers. The program focuses on tax issues unique to seniors. AARP participates in this program through AARP Tax-Aide.
Taxpayers should have all required documents and information with them when they visit. Doing so will make sure their VITA or TCE visit is a success.
Taxpayers should bring:
- Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
- Photo ID for taxpayer and spouse, if filing a joint tax return
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letter may be substituted for those who do not have a Social Security number
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
- Wage and earning statements, Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc, from all employers and other payers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks
- Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
- A copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns, if available
- Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit of tax refund, such as a blank check
- Total amount paid for daycare services and the daycare provider’s tax identification number, such as their SSN or business Employer Identification Number
- Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage statements
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
Also, Taxpayers should remember that in order to file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms. Special rules apply for some military families.
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