Ready for the 2018 tax season? United Way is here to help

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 $85,000 a year at St. John’s Episcopal Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grant Ave. once each month through April 11.

The first session takes place Jan. 24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. John’s church. The second session takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 7 at the same location. The third session is March 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the last session takes place April 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 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 uses a software program that helps prepares and accurately process returns. They will have several volunteers on site to assist people with their returns.

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, picture identification, social security cards for all household members, proof of income such as W2s and 1099 forms.

The organization also recommends bringing any documents that could help with tax preparation such as information about child care providers, account and routing numbers for direct deposit, and last year’s return if possible. She also said it is important to bring any other tax forms residents think could be useful.

Documentation for health insurance coverage is necessary too which typically is a 1095A form.

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 the returns for a quality review.

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