Get Your Taxes Prepared Free

(Topeka) — Starting Monday, January 25, free E-File income tax preparation is available on the first floor of the Docking State Office Building, 915 SW Harrison Street, Room 158, Topeka. The assistance site is a partnership of the Kansas Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program.

The site is staffed with community IRS certified and trained volunteers who will provide assistance for completing E-File Federal and State individual income tax returns, and limited Kansas Homestead Claims & Property Tax Relief Claims. The VITA Program offers tax help for low to moderate income (generally $49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The site will be open from January 25th through the April 15th filing deadline.The trained community volunteers can help with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled for which some filers may qualify. Since the Docking VITA site offers free E-File, filers can expect their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster if they have the refund deposited directly into their bank account.

Items taxpayers should bring to the VITA Site to have their tax returns prepared include: a copy of last year’s federal and state income tax return, if they have one; photo identification; birth dates and social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and any children in the household born before December 31, 2009; wage and earning statement(s), form W-2 from all employers, W-2G gambling income, and 1099(R) from pension, annuity, retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs, and insurance contract distributions, interest and dividend statements from banks (form1099INT), unemployment insurance benefit statements received any time in 2008 (1099-G), and all other 1098 and 1099 forms; statements received from a mortgage company during 2008; college expense information for college students; and other relevant information about income and expenses such as total amount paid for day care and the day care provider’s federal identifying number, and any notices sent to the taxpayer by the IRS in 2008.

Other things to remember are: workers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINS) should bring the ITIN card sent to them by the IRS, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms if the filing status of the return is married filing joint, and bank routing numbers and account numbers must be provided to have the refund deposited directly into a checking or savings account.

The Kansas Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Assistance Center, located in room 150 of the Docking building, offers Kansas income tax return and homestead claim assistance throughout the year. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

No appointment is required at either location, assistance is provided on first come first served basis. For more information, call the Kansas Department of Revenue, (785) 368-8222.

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About Jill Michaux

Jill Michaux is a Kansas bankruptcy attorney. She can be found on Google+. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only board certified consumer bankruptcy law specialists.

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