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Free tax services

February 6, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Need help getting your income tax returns prepared?

The Marquette Senior Center and Peter White Library are two local venues offering free tax preparation assistance this tax season.

The Internal Revenue Service deadline to file taxes this year is Tuesday, April 17.

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At the Peter White Library, located at 217 N. Front St., the free tax prep offered through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program began Sunday and will continue to be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays in the Shiras Room through April 1.

No appointments are necessary and taxpayers will receive assistance on a first come, first served basis. There will be no tax prep on March 4 and 11 because of spring break at Northern Michigan University.

"The VITA program is great because it allows the NMU tax students to give back to their community as well as to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom," said Gray Turek, VITA program site coordinator for the Peter White tax prep. "We are looking forward to the tax season and to serving the tax needs of our clients."

Turek said the VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $50,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Turek said IRS-certified volunteers will provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals, including electronic filing of both the federal and state of Michigan tax returns.

To receive tax prep assistance for the VITA program, taxpayers need to bring the following items with them to the library:

- Photo identification

- Valid Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents

- Birth dates for primary, secondary and dependents on the tax return

- Wage and earning statements Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers

- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

- A copy of last year's federal and state returns, if available

- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit

- Other relevant information about income and expenses

The AARP electronic filing tax assistance available at the Marquette Senior Center, located at 300 W. Baraga Ave., is available for those older than 60. Assistance is available in filing state and federal income tax returns, the Homestead Property Tax Credit and the Home Heating Credit.

"We're going to offer it every Tuesday and Friday," said Jane Palmer, coordinator of the Marquette Senior Center. "It is by appointment only."

AARP volunteers Kathy Lakenen and Karen Nolan and a team of trained assistants will be available for one-hour appointments beginning Tuesday. The free service will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays through April 6.

To have your tax returns prepared at the Marquette Senior Center, you will need to bring the following items to your appointment:

- A copy of your completed 2010 tax return (if AARP filed for you last year)

- Your Social Security Card

- 1099-R Form Retirement or annuity

- W-2 Form Work

- Unemployment Compensation Statement

- SSA 1099 Social Security, or if railroad retirement, bring statement

- Miscellaneous income information

- All 1099 forms

- Records of interest paid to you

- Records of dividends

- Stocks if sold, need to know the original purchase price

- All forms showing federal income tax withheld (only if itemizing)

- All receipts or cancelled checks

- Heating bills

-mHow much rent paid and to whom

- Property taxes

- Bank information (routine information) for refund

The AARP team cannot process rental income, farm credits, business (except for CEZ form) or very complicated stocks tax returns.

To make an appointment to have taxes prepared at the Marquette Senior Center, call the center at 228-0456. For more information on the VITA tax prep at the Peter White Library, contact Gray Turek, site coordinator, at 286-0129.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.



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