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Free Tax Preparation Services Available for Low-Income NoVA Families in Through April 16 | People

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Free Tax Preparation Services Available for Low-Income NoVA Families in Through April 16
Free Tax Preparation Services Available for Low-Income NoVA Families in Through April 16

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) program is in full swing in Loudoun County providing free tax services to families earning less than $49,000 per year. The program provides one-on-one assistance to customers on a walk-in basis.  Free tax services will continue through April 16, 2011, at some sites in Loudoun County and many additional sites in Northern Virginia.

This is an opportunity for individuals and families to save an average of $200 in tax preparation fees by going to one of the free tax preparation sites. In addition to saving fees, they will be working with certified IRS volunteers who will make sure that families receive the maximum tax refund to which they are entitled and help determine if they are eligible for the earned income tax credit (EITC).  EITC has been making lives easier for working people for 35 years and has been called the nation’s most effective and efficient anti-poverty program. Depending on household composition, the EITC refund can be up to $5,000.

“Today, more than ever, hard-working individuals and families can use a little extra help. As families struggle to make ends meet in this tight economy, this free tax preparation program is good news.  Many tax credits and deductions can really help households; credits include the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Making Work Pay, Education Credit, New Homebuyer Credit and more,” said Karen Velez, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Coordinator for Loudoun County Family Services.  “These credits instill a sense of work ethic and pride, because it is income earned by working, it is not a handout, but a hand-up.  In addition to helping working families, it benefits the entire community’s economy as these refunds are spent in the local economy paying for shelter, food, medicine, transportation and other daily needs.”

People seeking tax preparation assistance are asked to bring the following items with them:

• Photo ID

• Social Security cards or ITIN letters and birthdates for all persons on tax return

• Copy of 2009 Federal & State tax return (if available)

• Prior year refund and/or payment information

• All wage & earnings information (W-2s, W-2G, 1099s, and etc.) from all employers

• Interest and Dividend Statements, miscellaneous income statements, unemployment  compensation (form 1099-G)

• A check or deposit slip if you want direct deposit

• Daycare Expenses paid in 2010 & day care providers name, address and federal ID number)

• Student tuition and loan and interest payments paid in 2010 (1098E)

• Paperwork relating to Energy efficient home improvements, new car purchases and new home purchases (closing agreement)

• Paperwork regarding medical expenses, mortgage interest, tax payment (personal, property), charitable donation receipts

• Record of Sales Tax paid on new vehicles purchased in 2010

• Record of Economic Recovery Payment received from SSA, RRB or VA

• Paperwork relating to energy efficient home improvements and home buyers paperwork (closing agreement)

• Closing papers on new home purchased in 2009 (HUD-1 form, paper filing only)

All returns are filed electronically.  If married and filing a joint return, both spouses must be present.

The following VITA sites in Loudoun County will be providing free income tax assistance.  

• Loudoun County Family Services-Workforce Resource Center - Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon through April 16, 2011.  The Workforce Resource Center is located in the Shenandoah Building at 103 Heritage Way on the first floor (enter at the back of the building) in Leesburg. Wages are limited to $49,000 and under.  No appointments needed.

• Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging- Rust Library - Monday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through April 11, 2011. The library is located at 380 Old Waterford Road in Leesburg.   Wages are limited to $49,000 and under. No appointments needed.

In addition, AARP offers free tax preparation at the following locations:

• Cascades Library - Tuesday & Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through April 15, 2011.  Cascades Library is located at 21030 Whitfield Place in Sterling. No appointments needed. (This site will be closed 3/30 and 3/31/11). Service is available to all wage earners or retirees and there is not any income eligibility.

• Falcons Landing - Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. through April 15, 2011. Appointments are needed.  To schedule an appointment call 703-404-5216.  Falcons Landing is located at the corner of Algonkian Parkway & Potomac View Road in Sterling. Service is available to all wage earners or retirees and there is not any income eligibility.

Additional sites in Northern Virginia are listed at www.nvacash.org.  For additional information, contact Karen Velez at 703-771-5718 or e-mail: karen.velez@loudoun.gov.

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