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Monday, January 09, 2017

Volunteer Tax Help Available Beginning Jan. 30

Westport Department of Human Services Director Sarah Heath announced today that the no-cost, full service AARP/Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Tax Assistance Program, with special attention to seniors and low to moderate-income households, will be available to the community again this year.

In response to increased demand, the program hours have been expanded and tax preparation and electronic filing of state and federal taxes will be offered at two locations from Jan. 30 through April 17, an announcement said.

The appointment schedule is as follows: Town Hall (call 203-341-1050 for appointment): Mondays, Jan 30 – April 17 (except Feb. 20 Presidents Day) 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Center for Senior Activities (call 203-341-5099 for appointment) Wednesdays, Feb. 1 – April 12, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Thursdays, Feb. 2 – April 13, 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Heath said the program is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service, and is available to all individual filers regardless of income or age. It started in 1968 and since 1980, has operated under a cooperative agreement with the IRS.

Last year, more than 1.5 million taxpayer returns were prepared and filed via this service throughout the country, Heath said.

In Connecticut, approximately 24,000 federal returns were processed, with 730 of those returns prepared and filed in Westport, a 60 percent increase over the prior year. Refunds totaling $870,000 were received by Westport clients, and almost all were filed electronically, Heath said.

If married, both husband and wife should be present at the appointment. Certain forms and personal and financial documents are required.

Taxpayers must bring: a copy of last year’s federal and state tax return(s); identity documentation (government-Issued photo ID); Social Security or ITIN numbers for all taxpayers and dependents; bank account/routing numbers (blank check preferable), if expecting a refund; all 2016 income report forms received, including SSA1099 if you were paid Social Security benefits, W-2(s) from your employer(s); W-2G from gambling winnings; 1099G from unemployment compensation payments, 1099s showing bank interest, stock dividends, retirement distributions, and broker statements.

Other important documents include: receipts for deductible expenses including real estate and vehicle taxes paid; verification of the original purchase price of sold assets (home, stocks, etc.); receipts/canceled checks if itemizing deductions (e.g., charity contributions), and proof of health insurance (Form 1095-A from Health Insurance Marketplace or private plan identification).

More information may be obtained by calling the Westport Department of Human Services at 203-341-1050.

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Posted 01/09/17 at 11:33 AM



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