VITA tax help is coming to Williams

Filling out tax forms can be confusing; the United Way offers free assistance with the Volunteers Income Tax Assistance Program.

Filling out tax forms can be confusing; the United Way offers free assistance with the Volunteers Income Tax Assistance Program.

Filing taxes can be a difficult process. And confusing. And maybe a little scary.

But Williams residents can get free assistance with their taxes through the United Way of Northern Arizona’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Volunteers will be available to help file individual tax returns for those who make less than $65,000 a year at St. John’s Episcopal Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grant Ave. once each month through April 15.

The first session takes place Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. John’s church. The second session takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mar. 1 at the same location. The last session takes place April 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Eileen Sherlock, income director for the United Way, said volunteers help people file their taxes online, so the process is quick and people usually get their tax return within a few weeks after filing.

The VITA program is using a new software program this year and will have more volunteers on site to assist people with their returns.

Sherlock said there will be three local volunteers along with more volunteers from Flagstaff.

Sherlock said those who need assistance with their tax returns need to bring a social security card for everyone listed on the tax return. They also need to bring direct deposit (bank) information, a valid identification, and last year’s return if possible. She also said it is important to bring W-2s and any other tax forms to the session.

It is also important for people to have documentation for their health insurance to avoid paying a penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

The VITA program has taken place in Williams for more than 10 years. Volunteers must go through an IRS certified training before they start. After preparing the tax returns, a United Way employee checks over them for a quality review.

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