Free tax preparation appointments are now available through the United Way.
The United Ways of Chautauqua County are again offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, for individuals who make less than $73,000 a year, persons with disabilities, people over 60 years of age, or people who are limited English speakers.
VITA utilizes local volunteers, certified by the IRS, to prepare income tax returns at no charge.
United Way officials say the goal of VITA is to ensure that 100% of the refund amount is returned to the taxpayer. Last year, the VITA program generated $2,242,278 in refunds, with volunteers logging more than 3,500 hours of service to the community.
Traditional in-person appointments and drop off sites for virtual tax preparation are available across Chautauqua County. Common issues that cannot be addressed by the VITA Program include income from rental property, farming, or businesses which manage an inventory or show a loss for the tax year. VITA Volunteers will determine if any items are out of scope at time of service.
Pre-scheduling is required for both in person and drop off appointments:
- The Prendergast Library
- Community Connections at Findley Lake (drop off only)
- Sinclairville Library
- United Way of Southern Chautauqua County (drop off only)
- Mayville Library
- Silver Creek Library
- United Way of Northern Chautauqua County
- SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator
- Westfield YWCA
To schedule an appointment for free tax assistance, dial 2-1-1 or call toll-free at 888-696-9211. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (messaging and data rates apply.) A service representative will then direct you to the appropriate location to schedule your appointment.
Once your appointment is confirmed, please bring the following:
- Proof of identification (photo ID.)
- Social Security cards for you, your spouse, and dependents.
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse, and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number.
- Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return.
- Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-NEC, 1099-MISC) from all employers.
- Unemployment statement
- Interest, dividend, and brokerage statements from banks (Forms 1099.)
- Education and student loan documents (1098T, 1098E)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available.
- Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check.
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number.
- Form 1095-A.
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable.
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
In lieu of an appointment, taxpayers can also use the self-preparation portal at http://www.MyFreeTaxes.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: As a point of transparency and disclosure to our audience, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is a corporate underwriter for WRFA and has provided a financial contribution for the general operations of the station within the past year. Funding we receive for General Operations is not used to fund our coverage of local news in the community. That is only made possible through a Community Service Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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