Free tax preparation by VITA volunteers ensures fast, full refunds

According to the Internal Revenue Service, one in five taxpayers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2013 didn’t apply for it. If you think you may be one, don’t miss out again. A VITA volunteer will prepare your 2013 tax return – for free. In addition to making sure you get the full refund you are entitled to, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) files your return electronically, turning your refund into money in your pocket, usually within 10 days. You keep more of what you earned with an Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal program that’s been in place since 1975.

For the 2013 tax season, if you are eligible, a married couple with three children and with an adjusted gross income of $51,567 or less could receive up to $6,044. An individual who earns $14,340 and has no children may receive up to $487.

VITA continues to grow in Chautauqua County. Last year VITA volunteers in Northern Chautauqua County processed and e-filed 912 tax returns during the 2012 tax season. The processed returns totaled $419,341 in federal Earned Income Tax Credit and $1,210,155 in total federal refund dollars.

VITA volunteers are IRS certified and will prepare Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ with Schedules A, B, D,C-EZ, EIC (Earned Income Credit), R, SE; Forms 1040 ES, EZ, and V; For 2106 (Employee Business Expense-limited); Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Credit); Form 8863 (Education Credits); and Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit).

To fill your taxes you need to bring the following:

Valid photo identification

All wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W2-G, and 1099-R)

Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV)

Unemployment benefits statements (Form 1099-G)

Social security cards and birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependent children

Total paid for daycare and the provider’s tax identification number and address if claiming Child/Dependent Care Credit

Form 8332 for noncustodial parent claiming child

Bank account and routing number if you wish to have your refund direct deposited.

VITA is a service of the Chautauqua County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, whose members are Chautauqua Opportunities, Inner Lakes Federal Credit Union, Southwestern Independent Living Center, Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, SUNY Fredonia, and the United Ways of Northern and Southern Chautauqua County.

VITA volunteers are available Saturdays through April 15 at various walk-in locations throughout northern Chautauqua County, and on other days by appointment. To learn locations and dates, visit the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County’s website at