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VITA tax program offers free tax filing

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to low- to middle-income individuals and families. Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers work in partnership with community organizations to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country.

The Tax Center here partners with the IRS-sponsored VITA program to provide free income tax preparation to active duty military, family members and retirees. POCs will be available within each unit, and will schedule appointments beginning Feb. 1 (call 556-4871 for appointment information).

Taxes will be prepared by a volunteer who has taken the IRS tax courses and received the certifications required to complete the return. He or she can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. All returns prepared by the unit POC will be quality reviewed and discussed with the taxpayer prior to electronic filing.

The POC will provide you with an intake form to complete prior to your meeting to assist in preparing your taxes. Ultimately you are responsible for what's reported on your tax return based on the information and documentation provided by you, the taxpayer. It is important to bring the items listed below as it is not possible to complete the tax returns without these items.

What to Bring
The following is a list of items to bring with you to your appointment.

·Proof of identification - picture ID
·Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration; or
·Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and family member
·Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
·Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
·Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
·Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
·A copy of last year's federal and state returns if available
·Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check
·Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
·To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

Volunteers Needed
The VITA program needs volunteers in order to serve everyone and be successful. Without volunteers from each unit, the program cannot be a success. Our goal is to relieve Airmen of the burden of stressing about taxes and allow that airman to concentrate on the mission. To become a VITA volunteer or make an appointment, call Ronte Johnson at 556-4871.

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