Tax Preparation

UNC Asheville gives free tax preparation help on Saturdays by way of April 2 at Pack Memorial Library

Moderate and low-income individuals and families in Western North Carolina can once again have their income tax returns prepared for free by UNC Asheville volunteers as part of the IRS VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance) program. UNC Asheville’s VITA program, now in its 12th year, will be available from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturdays through April 2, 2022, at the Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood Street in Asheville. Advance online registration is required.

“Many low- and middle-income taxpayers miss out on eligible tax credits such as the revised Child Tax Credits, Earned Income and Education Credits, and Economic Impact Payments,” says CarolHughes, a lecturer of management and accountancy at the University of North Carolina Asheville. “Our team of IRS-certified preparers is focused on making sure that returns are prepared correctly and that people receive all of the credits they are eligible for. And because the local taxpayer will not have to pay a fee to get their taxes prepared, they are able to keep more of their refund.”

The IRS VITA program offers free income tax preparation for families with incomes under $72,000, the elderly, and people with disabilities or limited proficiency in English. Preparation of both federal and state returns is offered. Those seeking 2021 tax preparation assistance should bring a photo ID, Social Security cards or equivalent for all taxpayers and dependents, W-2 forms plus other relevant documents. For married couples wishing to file joint tax returns, both spouses must be present with a photo ID. It is helpful to bring a copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if possible, and a voided check to facilitate direct deposit of tax refunds.

This year, there are 26 UNC Asheville students volunteering for the VITA program. They are trained in protecting confidentiality and in tax laws and procedures as part of service-learning courses taught by Hughes. All tax returns are reviewed by specially trained student workers employed as assistant site managers to ensure accuracy, working under the direction of Hughes, the VITA site manager.

“This important program not only gives our students the opportunity to sharpen their skills in a “real world” setting,” says Hughes, “but it is also beneficial to our community in helping taxpayers get the refund they deserve.”

Reserve your spot by emailing vitatax.unca@gmail.com or signing up online at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0a4fa8ad2fa1f85-february

For more information about the IRS VITA program, visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers.

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