Tom Brady will likely return — and tax season definitely will.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance will be offered again this year at Broadway United Methodist Church at First Street and Broadway.
Assistance will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays through Saturdays from Jan. 30 through March 28 on the second floor, just around the corner from the elevator.
Clients are asked to drop off their tax documents and pick them up the following week, according to Chris Ritter, coordinator of the VITA tax prep site for nine years. Each return will be examined by two volunteers to comply with IRS guidelines and explained to clients when they pick them up. Both spouses need to be there to sign returns, if filing jointly.
“We do take some of them home,” Ritter said, and some volunteers stay after hours to work on them at the VITA site.
Clients between 21 and 65 years old should check to see if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, Ritter said.
Clients will be required to sign an agreement giving Volunteer Income Tax Assistance permission to e-file their tax returns, she said.
Ritter cautions taxpayers against being too anxious to bring in their taxes.
“They need to wait to make sure they have all their W-2s and all their income,” she said.
Last year, 21 volunteers donated 2,765 hours to complete more than 1,300 federal tax returns and even more state returns, since some people earn income in more than one state, according to a chart showing data from last year. This resulted in a total of $1,762,546 in federal refunds and $423,116 in state refunds.
Meanwhile, 149 taxpayers found out they had federal income tax due. The average client had adjusted gross income of $28,205. Almost 44% of the clients were older than 60.
“We try to concentrate on lower-income clients,” Ritter said. “The IRS says we shouldn’t do any income over $59,000.”
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance also does not do rentals, farm income, businesses with a loss or expenses over $10,000, moving expenses or complicated investments without a detailed explanation.
The IRS provides the software for preparing the returns, and donations from clients pay for the computers and office supplies needed for the operation, Ritter said.
Clients should bring the following when seeking assistance:
• Photo ID (driver’s license or government-issued ID — for both spouses, if filing jointly)
• Prior year’s tax return
• Social Security cards (copies OK) for new dependents
• Dependent information — relatives you support, including children up to age 24 in school (include college info)
• Bank information, routing number and account number
• All income — W-2s, 1099s, Social Security, interest income, investment income, cash income with details, self-employed income, retirement income, gambling winnings, unemployment
• Expenses (ask for itemized deduction form) — Medical, health insurance, prescriptions, mortgage interest, taxes on home, charitable contributions, license plates/tags
• Credits — payments for education, child care (must have provider name, ID number and address)
• Insurance — Those who buy health insurance on the Marketplace must have form 1095A; there is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance.
• Health Savings Account – Disbursements from account (W-2s with a W, Box 12)