United Way of Porter County Offering Free Tax Prep Service, January 26 – April 13

unitedway portercountyFor the fifth year, United Way of Porter County is offering free state and federal income tax preparation starting Monday, January 26 through its VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. The program will run through Monday, April 13.

Preparation for qualified individuals will be held at the United Way of Porter County office, located at 951 Easport Centre Dr. in Valparaiso.

Tax preparations are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling (219) 464-3583, ext. 128 or emailing vita@unitedwaypc.org. If submitting an appointment request via email, it is required for individuals to include their name, phone number and preferred times for a return call to confirm an appointment. Appointment scheduling will begin on Thursday, January 15.

The VITA Program, funded by grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the IRS, offers free tax preparation to Porter and Lake County residents whose household income is $53,000 or less, in addition to low to moderate income tax payers and the elderly. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals. These volunteers can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as earned income tax credit, child tax credit and credit for the elderly or the disabled.

Scheduling is being done during the following days:
Mondays: 9 am to 3 pm
Tuesdays: 2 pm to 6 pm (Except Feb. 10)
Thursdays: 9 am to 3 pm
Saturdays: 8 am to noon (Feb. 21, March 7, 21 and April 4 ONLY)

For those who qualify for free tax preparation, the following is a list of items to bring to the VITA site to have your tax return prepared for free:

Proof of identification – Picture ID (Driver’s license or other ID with a picture)
Social Security Cards for you, your spouse (Medicare cards are acceptable for those 65 years of age and older) and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers/Social Security 1099-SA
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements
Record of rent payment, landlord’s name and address/mortgage company statements.
Proof of real estate taxes paid for 2014
It is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number. The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card. If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application. This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office.
If you or your dependent is not eligible to get a Social Security Number, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

For more information, please contact George Kuebler at george@unitedwaypc.org or call (219) 464-3583, ext. 128.

United Way of Porter County leads, unites, and inspires our community to improve lives. United Way invests in 3 core strategies: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. We help nearly 40,000 Porter County residents per year build better lives. For more information, visit www.unitedwaypc.org, www.uwsuccessby6.org & www.nwivolunteer.org or call 219-464-3583.