Free Tax Prep available for SW IA low/moderate income families

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January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Free tax preparation services will be available in southwest Iowa for low and moderate income families as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. For more information or to make an appointment call after January23rd to the Shelby County Extension Office in Harlan, phone: 712-755-3104. Other tax sites will also be available in Atlantic, Guthrie Center, Carroll, Jefferson, Malvern, and Corning.

The program is open to Iowa residents with adjusted gross income below $57,000. Tax preparation services will be provided by IRS trained and certified local volunteers who utilize the Tax Wise software to complete returns. The IRS now requires all returns to be quality reviewed by a second tax volunteer which could delay the filing of a tax return by a day or two. Most returns will be electronically filed and to speed up the refund process participants are encouraged to have a savings or bank account, although it is not required. Taxpayers can have refunds deposited into more than one account and also purchase Series I US Savings Bonds.

Only Basic Federal, Iowa and nearby state returns will be processed. The program does not prepare Schedules or Forms related to Business profit/loss (except Form C-EZ with business expenses under $10,000), Capital gains/losses, Farm or rental income, Employee business expenses, or Moving expenses. A professional tax preparer should be consulted for these services.

Health savings accounts (HSA’s) and Cancellation of Debt returns are only prepared where volunteers are certified to do so.

In rural southwest Iowa the VITA program is a joint effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowan’s for Social and Economic Development. The program is financially supported by the Internal Revenue Service and the Iowa Department of Human Services. For more information about the program contact Mary Beth Kaufman, ISU Extension Program Specialist and VITA Coordinator at 712-755-3104.