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Free tax prep available through EOC

by jmaloni
Fri, Jan 29th 2016 10:25 am

The University at Buffalo's Educational Opportunity Center is again offering free tax preparation for individuals and families meeting economic and income guidelines, the latest installment of a quickly expanding program.

The program, administered by the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, offers advice and free tax preparation for individuals and families who meet certain income guidelines. Those whose 2015 income is below $54,000 are invited to contact VITA at the EOC to see if they are eligible.

"Each year the EOC VITA program is able to help put millions of dollars from tax credits into the community that needs them the most," said Zachary J. Howe, interim director of administrative services for the EOC. "It's a great opportunity for people who might not be able to afford professional tax services the chance to get valuable, expert advice."

VITA tax counselors filed more than 1,200 returns in 2015, a dramatic increase of about 400 from 2014, Howe said. The preparers found $1,863,000 in total refunds in 2015, Howe said, and saved clients another $360,000 in tax-preparation fees.

The EOC VITA clinic opens Feb. 1 and runs through April 15. Counselors will meet clients from 4-8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on select Fridays at EOC, 555 Ellicott St., in downtown Buffalo.

For more information call 716-645-1865 or call 211.

Those seeking tax services should bring the following:

•Proof of identification (government-issued ID for each adult).

•Original Social Security card for each filer and dependent.

•Tuition expenses statement (1098-T) and/or student loan interest.

•Wage and earning statements (Forms W-2 and 1099) from all employers.

•Interest and dividend statements (Form 1099).

•New this year: Forms 1095-A, B or C (Affordable Health Care Act Statements).

•Total paid for day care provider and provider's tax ID number.

•A copy of last year's federal and state tax returns, if available.

•Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit.

•If married and filing a joint return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

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