The annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will be getting started on Feb. 4.

Every Tuesday in February and March, trained volunteers who are certified by the Internal Revenue Service will be helping with tax returns from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Atkins-Porter Recreation Center, at the corner of Walnut and North Highland streets.

Appointments may be made for the program by calling Carole Walsh at 642-4178.

Because of many changes in tax law this year, participants may bring their information and it will be looked at, and they will be advised whether or not they need to file.

Volunteers will help with special credits, such as earned income tax credit, child tax credit and credit for the elderly, for those who may qualify.

In addition to preparation assistance, free e-filing is also available. Those taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper, and even faster if one has the refund directly deposited into their bank account.

Anyone who has an annual income of less than $59,000, is a senior citizen or is handicapped may have their tax return prepared and e-filed free.

Those having tax returns prepared should bring:

• Proof of identification.

• Social Security for the filer, spouses and dependents and/or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration.

• Birth dates for the filer, spouse and dependents on the tax return.

• Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R from all employers.

• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099).

• A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available.

• Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit.

• Total paid for day care provider and the provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security number or business employer identification number.)

• Charity donations and medical bills paid. Persons should also bring the amounts paid.

• Any documents indicating payment of educational expenses.

• Any document from the health care marketplace — such as forms 1095 A, B or C — or any other proof of insurance they may have.

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