Free tax preparation offered by Williamsburg volunteers

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The Greater Williamsburg Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be offering free tax preparation between Feb. 1 and April 15. (file photo)
The Greater Williamsburg Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be offering free tax preparation between Feb. 1 and April 15. (file photo)

With April 15 rapidly approaching, Williamsburg area residents may be pleased to hear that they will have the option to file their taxes for free.

The Greater Williamsburg Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be offering free tax preparation between Feb. 1 and April 15, according to a city press release.

The free VITA service is available to all on a first-come, first-serve basis. VITA volunteers will complete and file Federal and State income tax returns.

The tax preparation service will be held on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays in Room 204 of the Bruton Heights School Education Center.  Services will be offered between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Residents hoping to file are advised to bring their year 2016 tax documents, including wage and earnings statements, such as W2s and 1099s, receipts for deductions, a driver’s license or other government-issued picture ID, taxpayer and dependent Social Security cards, bank account routing information if e-filing, 2015 Federal and State tax returns, and any other relevant information about income, expenses and deductions.

VITA volunteers are trained by the Internal Revenue Service and will be using IRS-provided software.

Questions can be directed to VITAwbg@cox.net, according to the release.

Tax-Aide

Free tax help is also available from Tax-Aide.

Tax-Aide is a walk-in program by the AARP Foundation and the IRS, according to an email from Terry Lowe, a spokesperson for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. It provides income-tax help and tax-form preparation services to low-income and moderate-income taxpayers, especially those who are age 60 and older. Returns are filed electronically at no charge. 

The service will be available from Feb. 1 to April 18, 2017 at two local libraries.

At the Williamsburg Library, 515 Scotland Street, the program will be held Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Rd., the hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you want help with your returns, you’ll need to bring a picture ID (such as a driver’s license or a passport, Social Security cards (for everyone on the tax return), health-insurance documentation (Form 1095), tax information (forms such as W-2s, 1099s and 1098s), bank account numbers (for direct deposit of refunds) and a copy of your tax return from last year (if you have one).

For more information, visit the AARP website at www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide.

To schedule an appointment, call 757-259-4072.

In addition, many federal tax forms will be available at Williamsburg library locations, but not state forms. Federal forms can be downloaded at www.irs.gov. State forms are available at Commissioner of Revenue offices and online from the Virginia Department of Taxation www.tax.virginia.gov.

This story has been updated since publication to include additional information about free services available through Tax-Aide.