Free tax assistance available at Goodwill

January 26, 2014 

— For the fifth year in a row, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont will offer free tax preparation services to qualified individuals through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Offered in partnership with Community Link and the Internal Revenue Service, this volunteer-driven program provides free tax assistance by certified tax preparers to individuals or families with an adjusted gross income of $52,000 or less.

Goodwill will operate the VITA site at its Career Development Center, 2122 Freedom Drive, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 29, through April 15. The site will be open by appointment only from 6 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each Saturday for walk-ins.

“The average tax return can cost $200 – money that can buy groceries or help with the rent. Our partnership with the VITA program helps people keep their hard-earned money,” said LaToya Lowery, workforce training specialist at Goodwill. “In 2013 we completed 652 tax returns, resulting in nearly $1 million in refunds being returned to local residents. This year we hope that even more people will take advantage of this free service.”

Goodwill encourages taxpayers to ask about the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides tax breaks for some working families who earn up to $52,000 and can provide refunds up to $6,044. The IRS estimates that nearly 20 percent of eligible workers do not claim the credit each year because they lack awareness of the program, cannot afford costly tax preparation fees or fear they will lose public benefits by filing.

To educate local taxpayers about the Earned Income Tax Credit, Goodwill will host a free EITC Awareness Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at its Career Development Center. Registration is not required.

To schedule an appointment for Goodwill’s VITA site, or to see if you qualify for free tax preparation, call 704-761-VITA (8482) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday or schedule an appointment online at communitylink-nc.org.

What to bring:

• 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 dependents

• 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.

For more information on VITA , visit communitylink-nc.org.

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