Free tax help ready for residents
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
Get free tax preparation help through VITA or the AARP Tax-Aide Assistance Program just by making an appointment for assistance.
—Alachua County Housing Authority, 703 NE 1st St.: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 23 through April 15.
—City College, 7001 NW 4th Blvd.: 1-4 p.m.: Wednesdays, Jan. 30 through April 10.
—FloridaWorks, 4800 SW 13th St.: 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 29 through April 11.
—Reichert House, 1704 SE 2nd Ave: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 29 through April 9.
—Santa Fe College Center for Innovation & Economic Development, 530 W. University Ave.: 5-9 p.m. Thursdays Jan. 24 through April 11.
—Shands at UF Atrium, 1600 SW Archer Road: 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Feb. 4 and 4-9 p.m. Feb. 12.
—The Library Partnership and Neighborhood Resource Center, 1130 NE 16th Ave.: 3-6 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 4, March 18, April 1, April 8 and April 15; 3-7 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 14, March 14 and March 28, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 2, Feb. 16. Feb. 23, March 2, March 16 and March 23.
—University of Florida Levin College of Law, SW 2nd Avenue and 25th Street: 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 29 through March 28. Closed March 2-9 for Spring Break.
—Gainesville/Alachua County Senior Recreation Center, 5701 NW 34th St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays by appointment only.
—Alachua County Library Headquarters, 401 E. University Ave.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment or walk-in and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 9 and March 16 by walk-in only.
—Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays by appointment only and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 23 and April 13 by walk-in only.
—Tower Road Branch Library, 3020 SW 75th St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
—Library Partnership and Neighborhood Resource Center, 1130 NE 16th Ave.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, but not on Feb. 22, March 1 and March 15. Walk-in only.
—Cone Park Branch Library: 2841 E. University Ave.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 30 by walk-in only.
VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is an IRS-sponsored program that works with United Way of North Central Florida and other community partners, while AARP Tax-Aide Assistance is sponsored by the AARP Foundation in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service to assist families during the tax season, which will run through April 15.
Both VITA and AARP Tax-Aide offer free tax preparation and electronic filing, but while VITA serves families or individuals whose income for 2012 is $51,000 or less, AARP Tax-Aide has no income requirements.
Sarah Coulson, communications specialist at United Way, said the best way to schedule a VITA tax-preparation appointment is by calling 2-1-1 now. VITA tax-preparation sites will open on Jan. 23.
Judie Davidson, coordinator of AARP Tax-Aide Assistance in Alachua County, said tax preparation and electronic filing will be done by appointment, with walk-in appointments available at some sites. Davidson said those interested can make appointments after Tuesday via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person starting on Feb. 4 when the sites open.
To get your taxes done, you will need to bring the following documents:
—Valid photo ID, such as a driver's license.
—Social Security cards and birth dates for the taxpayer(s) and dependent(s).
—A copy of your 2011 tax return, if you have it.
—Income documentation from your employer, such as a W-2 form.
—Other documentation that may apply, including child care expenses, mortgage company statements, adoption expenses, alimony paid or received, documentation of the purchase of a home, notices from the IRS you may have received, property tax bills, college tuition and student loan interest statements, lottery and gambling winnings, prizes and awards and scholarships and fellowships.
—A voided blank check to get your refund deposited into your bank account within 7-14 days after filing electronically.
"We will answer questions, even if the taxpayer is doing the taxes," Davidson said.
"They can stop at the tax preparation site."
There also is still time to volunteer to serve as a VITA greeter or tax preparer. Training classes will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Monday through Jan. 17 at the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting in Gerson Hall, Room 122. To register, visit http://conta.cc/YyrGgi.
For more information, call 352-333-0852 or 352-363-4820 or email Jennifer Stojkovic at UWTaxes@unitedwayncfl.org.