VITA, AARP preparing tax returns
VITA opens Saturday and AARP begins Feb. 3
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.
Forget paying to have your 2013 income tax return prepared and filed.
You can get your return prepared and electronically filed for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, or the AARP Tax-Aide Assistance programs.
VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that works with United Way of North Central Florida and other community partners, while AARP Tax-Aide is sponsored by the AARP Foundation in partnership with the IRS. This year, the tax season will run from Jan. 31-April 15, which is the deadline to file 2013 returns.
But you can schedule an appointment now. For VITA, call 2-1-1. For AARP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the AARP sites when they open.
Sarah Coulson, communications specialist at United Way, said the fist VITA site to open will be on Saturday at Library Partnership at 1130 NE 16th Ave. She said VITA sites will be closed on Monday in observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and will reopen on Tuesday during scheduled hours.
Again this year, there will be no income limit for low- to moderate-income taxpayers using VITA or AARP Tax-Aide. New this year, VITA is encouraging taxpayers to do their own taxes from a home computer by using the VITA software at www.myfreetaxes.com/uwncfl.
Nancy Buergelt, district coordinator of AARP Tax-Aide in Alachua County, said AARP Tax-Aide will offer tax preparation and filing from Feb. 3-April 15. Help is available for individuals and small businesses. 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 2012 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.
"The goal of this free program is to make sure taxpayers receive their Earned Income Tax Credit that can earn them as much as $5,800 from the IRS," Coulson said. "This is money that taxpayers deserve and should get. We want taxpayers to avoid predatory services that are out there and use a safe and free service like VITA."
* Reichert House Youth Academy, 1704 SE 2nd Ave: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays.
* Library Partnership, 1130 NE 16th Ave.: 3-6 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. alternating Saturdays, beginning Saturday.
* Santa Fe College Center for Innovation & Economic Development, 530 W. University Ave.: 5-9 p.m. Thursdays.
* United Way of North Central Florida, 6031 NW 1st Place: 5:30-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays.
* FloridaWorks, 4800 SW 13th St.: 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays.
* University of Florida Levin College of Law, SW 2nd Avenue and SW 25th Street: 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (closed March 1-8 for Spring Break)
* UF McCarty Hall, 1692 McCarty Drive adjacent to the Reitz Union: 5-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays (closed March 1-8 for Spring Break).
* Buchholz High School, 5510 NW 27th Ave.: 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (closed March 24-28 for Spring Break).
* Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St.: 4-8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; building to be announced. (closed March 1-8 for Spring Break).
Appointments will be made for 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Walk-ins must arrive at least one hour before closing.
* Library Partnership, 1130 NE 16th Ave.: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays by appointment and walk-ins.
* Library Headquarters, 401 E. University Ave.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, appointment only (closed on Feb. 17); 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 8 and March 15, walk-in only.
* Alachua County Senior Recreation Center, 5701 NW 34th St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 22, March 8 and April 12, walk-in only.
* Tower Road Branch Library, 3020 SW 75th St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, appointment only.
* Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St.: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, appointment only (closed on Feb. 17); 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 15, March 22 and April 5, walk-in only.
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