The United Way of Cattaraugus County, located at 807 W. State St., Olean, opened the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) office Jan. 25 for the 13th year of offering free tax services for qualifying taxpayers.
Community volunteers, along with 27 St. Bonaventure University accounting students and staff, are IRS trained and certified to prepare tax returns free of charge. The St. Bonaventure accounting students and staff will provide tax assistance through Friday, April 1, 2016. The United Way will continue to remain open with limited available appointments through Friday, April 15.
The VITA program has brought federal and state income tax benefits to people with low and moderate incomes by providing free income tax preparation and e-filing. The program focuses on workers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit available to low- and moderate-income workers with earned income.
To qualify for free tax return preparation and electronic filing, Cattaraugus County workers must have a family income of less than $53,000. Candidates will go through an entrance interview to see whether they qualify for free assistance. Operating days are Monday through Friday with afternoon and early evening appointments.
To make an appointment, please call (716) 373-2534. Those who qualify must bring a valid picture I.D., Social Security cards, all W-2 forms, and Forms 1099 to their tax preparation appointment.
Can’t make it in to the VITA office? There is another option available for completing your taxes this year. The IRS has partnered with the United Way and H&R Block to offer free online tax preparation services. The website utilizes H&R Block’s software and interview process to help you complete your taxes. This site allows anyone who has income less than $62,000 per year to file their federal and state taxes (up to three states) for free.
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