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Free Tax Preparation and E-file by VITA
Starting January 17, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) will begin free tax preparation & e-filing appointments for individuals and families in Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph County with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less.
IRS-certified VITA tax preparers will work to help clients receive all the deductions and credits they deserve. Those who worked in 2011 may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit (up to $6,000) or Earned Income Tax Credit (up to $5,666)—even if they don’t owe income tax!
Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness (EITC) Day is on January 27, 2012. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit available to individuals and families participating in the workforce and is the nation's largest and most effective federal aid program. United Way encourages the community to participate in EITC Awareness Day by scheduling an appointment with VITA.
Eligible tax returns: VITA tax preparers can prepare tax returns that include the following: Wages, Unemployment, Social Security, Retirement, most 1099’s and Schedule C-EZ. VITA sites can now assist taxpayers with: Cancelation of Debt, Health Savings Accounts, and Military and limited International income. Also this year sites can help taxpayers with Self-employment income requiring a Schedule C under $10,000 (limited expenses only and no losses) and complicated or advanced Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses).
VITA cannot prepare tax returns for income from states other than Indiana, rental income, farm income, or adoption credits.
Benefits: This year the community can complete their taxes and e-file with a VITA tax preparer or on their own by using a VITA self-service kiosk available at one of the many locations throughout the region. Also, during tax assistance appointments taxpayers can enter for a chance to win a Pro$perity Package gift basket worth $331* when they take United Way's Financial Fitness Test.
Other benefits of filing at a VITA site:
- Filing electronically guarantees a quick refund (typically 7-14 days).
- Maximizing credits and refunds helps put thousands of dollars back into our local economy.
- All VITA tax preparers are IRS-trained and certified.
- All VITA sites are a welcoming environment, handicap accessible and guarantee complete confidentiality.
Taxpayers are encouraged to CALL 2-1-1 and schedule an appointment as early in the season as possible, since appointments fill up quickly. 2-1-1 is open between 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Daytime and evening tax preparation appointments are available Monday – Saturday.
Taxpayers can visit www.uwsjc.org/
VITA is a program of the Pro$perity Building Campaign Tax Team led by United Way of St. Joseph County. Through the Pro$perity Building Campaign, United Way is working to meet basic needs, build family support systems, increase income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets.
*$331 is based on the average cost of tax preparation and a rapid refund loan.
United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating long-lasting change, ensuring all residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health. For more information about United Way of St. Joseph County, visit www.uwsjc.org, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @uwstjoecounty.
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