The “Earn It, Keep It, Save It” coalition, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the IRS are offering free tax preparation to Southeastern Utah residents in Carbon, Grand, Emery and San Juan Counties for both federal and Utah State Tax Commission returns to be electronically filed.
Free tax help is available for those who have low to moderate income ($54,000 or less), seniors, disabled individuals or English is a second language. Local tax volunteers have been certified through the IRS VITA program to prepare basic tax returns, provide information on credits, deductions and allowable expenses that taxpayers may be eligible for and electronically file both federal and state tax returns at no charge. These sites are not able to provide help with business tax returns or complex individual income tax returns. Free tax help sites are conveniently located in the community at neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other near-by locations.
The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC is an important item tax volunteers will be checking to see if area residents are eligible for. The EITC is for Utahns who work but don’t make a lot of money. In 2016, if you made $53,505 or less, you may qualify for this refundable credit. Refundable means even if you didn’t have any federal income tax withheld on wages earned, you could still get a refund. The EITC could be worth as much as $6,269 for a married couple with three or more children. So, don’t guess, find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit at a near-by VITA site.
Utahns need to bring with them the following items when seeking free tax help: photo identification for themselves (and their spouses); valid Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) or Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN’s) for each person listed on the tax return; all wage and earnings statements (Forms W-2); interest, dividend or miscellaneous income and/or mortgage interest paid statements (Forms 1099 or 1098); if applicable, the Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement; proof of health insurance; amounts paid for day care and the day care provider’s identifying number (SSN or EIN); a copy of last year’s tax return (if available) and any other information concerning income and expenses for 2016. If filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Consider using direct deposit if you are getting a tax refund. Nine out of ten Utahns who electronically file and use direct deposit will receive their federal tax refund in 21 days or less. Direct deposit requires bank account and routing transit numbers.
This past year, the ‘Earn It, Keep It, Save It’ coalitions 854 tax volunteers electronically filed 20,969 federal income tax returns. This community effort resulted in $24.2 million dollars in federal refunds being issued along with $8.34 million in Earned Income Tax Credit being claimed.
Please contact the Regional Coordinator, Geri Gamber, at 435-637-5444 regarding tax help site locations, dates and times open, etc. Additional tax help is available on IRS.gov.