Sara Swanson

Free tax prep at the CRC for low-income tax payers

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Free tax preparation assistance is available at the Community Resource Center here in Manchester, to low-income Washtenaw County taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Managed through the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC), VITA is a national IRS program providing free tax preparation for individuals and families making $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and those with limited English proficiency.

Trained VITA volunteers and certified tax professionals work one-on-one with eligible taxpayers to provide basic tax return preparation services and electronic filing; offer financial tips; and inform taxpayers about special tax credits they may qualify for such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.

In 2016, UWWC free tax services resulted in:
▪  927 state and federal returns filed
▪  Over a million dollars in tax return dollars brought back to Washtenaw County
▪  $185,000 estimated tax return preparation fees saved
▪  More than 900 volunteer hours dedicated to serving Washtenaw County residents

“No one ever spends their way out of poverty,” said Pam Smith, President and CEO of United Way of Washtenaw County. “VITA is more than a community resource; it moves people another step away from crisis by helping them keep more of the income they have earned.”

Funded through the generous support of the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) and other community partners; the VITA Program serves as a cornerstone for the Washtenaw Financial Stability Coalition, a local interagency partnership focused on increasing the financial stability of low-income working individual and families.

“Through critical financial capability programs like VITA, OCED is able to help Washtenaw County residents build assets and achieve a better economic future and quality of life,” said Andrea Plevek, Director, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.

SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT
The VITA Program is by appointment only. Eligible taxpayers can call 734-428-7722 to schedule an appointment at the Community Resource Center. Appointments are available on Mondays starting February 8th and continuing through March 26th.

Taxpayers are asked to bring:
▪  Photo ID for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
▪  Social Security Card or ITIN for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
▪  Birthdates for everyone that is included on the tax return
▪  W-2s from all jobs held in 2016
▪  All 1099s, 1098s and other tax forms
▪  Savings and checking account and routing numbers for direct deposit
▪  Last year’s tax return
▪  Childcare provider information, including total paid in 2016 and their tax ID number
▪  Landlord’s name, address, phone number and rent paid in 2016
▪  Household’s health coverage information (1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C)
▪  Proof of foreign status if applying for ITIN

 

RESOURCES:
United Way of Washtenaw County Free Tax Help
Washtenaw County Tax Preparation Sites
VITA Provider Location Search

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