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2/11/2011 - United Way Offers Free Income Tax Preparation

For the fourth year, United Way of Cumberland County is offering free income-tax preparation for residents through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). The free service is available to individuals and residents whose household income is $49,000 or less.

This year, two VITA sites, one in Bridgeton and one in Vineland, are open now through Monday, April 18. These sites are the only IRS approved VITA sites in Cumberland County. To find the site nearest you, call the United Way offices at (856) 205-1800, or 211, a comprehensive statewide information and referral line.

Each VITA site offers different hours of operation, including day, weeknight and weekend hours, making the service more convenient for those who work. The sites are staffed with Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-certified VITA volunteer preparers. Translation services are available. All returns are e-filed so filers can receive their refund money quickly, normally in 10-12 days.

While preparing returns, VITA volunteers also help eligible residents to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC is a federal tax credit for individuals and families who meet certain income and eligibility guidelines. Many residents who qualify for EITC are unaware that they are eligible and haven’t previously taken advantage of the credits. United Way and its partners are spreading the word to help get money back into people’s pockets.

Partners in this year’s VITA Program include United Way of Cumberland County, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Sun National Bank and Union Baptist Temple.

To help accurately determine their EITC eligibility and prepare their returns, taxpayers should bring:

  • Photo identification
  • Valid Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for primary, secondary and dependents on the tax return
  • Current year’s tax package, if received
  • Wage and earning statement(s) 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
  • Total paid for day care
  • Day care provider’s identifying number