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Begins January 23
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - Cherokee Nation volunteers will once again be donating their time and expertise to file federal and state income tax returns for those earning less than $50,000 annually. The service is provided free to those who live within the Cherokee Nation's 14 county jurisdiction.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program utilizes a number of Cherokee Nation volunteers with financial backgrounds that are trained and certified by the US Internal Revenue Service. The tribe has offered the tax preparation service for the past 32 years in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The service will be offered from Jan. 23 through April 13. Last year, the VITA program filed 2,400 returns and on average saved taxpayers that participated in the program $200.
Organizers hope to help more people with their taxes this year and stress that filing with VITA for free is more advantageous than paying someone else to do taxes for a refund anticipation loan or rapid refund, as interest or fees are associated with those services and customers would receive their refund only one or two weeks early in most cases. All returns will be e-filed through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at no charge.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers assistance preparing returns using the basic 1040 form with Schedules A, B, Earned Income Credit, Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Credit), Form 8863 (Education Credits), Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit), Schedule C-EZ (self-employment with less than $5,000 in total expenses) and educator credits.
Those wishing to utilize the service must provide a photo ID, Social Security cards for each person listed on the return, W-2s, 1099s, a copy of the previous year's tax return, documentation of deductions and bank account information for direct deposit of any refund. Additional documents may be required, depending on the return.
Assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is available to anyone that meets the program's income guidelines and lives within Cherokee Nation's boundary. You do not need to be a Cherokee Nation citizen to participate.
posted January 4, 2011 6:00 am est
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