United Way Launches Free Tax Help Program’s 14th YearTaxes Filed Free For You, With Help or Yourself

United Way of Palm Beach County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program officially begins today, January 18, 2017, offering free and safe income tax preparation services throughout Palm Beach County to those with a 2016 household income of $64,000 or less. VITA now offers three exciting options, taxes filed for you, with help or yourself, online.

 

FILED For You Full-Service Tax Preparation

Visit one of 21 VITA sites throughout Palm Beach County and an IRS certified VITA volunteer will prepare and e-file your tax return.

 

FILED With Help Tax Filing Assistance

Visit select VITA sites where you will file your own tax return online with the support and guidance of an IRS certified VITA volunteer.

 

FILED Yourself Tax Filing Online

Log on to www.MyFreeTaxes.com and file your own tax return. It’s simple, fast and secure. Have a tax or software related question? Call the toll-free helpline 1-855-698-9435 10am-10pm Monday through Saturday to speak with an IRS certified VITA volunteer.

 

When visiting a VITA site, taxpayers need to bring the following documents: 2015 tax return, social security cards and birthdates for all family members, all W2 statements for 2016, forms 1099 and 1098, a photo ID and a voided check.  Joint returns require both spouses to attend.

 

Those who earned less than $47,955 may also be eligible for up to $6,269 in Earned Income Tax Credits.

 

Taxpayers should also note that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each member of a household has minimal essential health insurance, an exemption or make a shared responsibility payment. All VITA sites are able to help with this new requirement.

 

The VITA Program helps Palm Beach County taxpayers save over $1.5 million in fees they would have paid had they used a tax-preparation service. Additionally, research shows that taxpayers receiving refunds through returns processed at VITA sites used the money responsibly – to pay off debt, invest in education or housing, or open a bank account.

 

Last year, this program helped process more than 10,000 income tax returns for lower income households resulting in upwards of $6 million in earned income tax credits and $16.1 million in tax returns. A program such as VITA not only helps individuals and families in our community but it also helps our local economy. Since 2004, VITA has returned approximately $184 million to our community. 

 

Partners of the VITA Program include the Internal Revenue Service, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast; Bank of America, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, IBM, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, Third Federal and Wells Fargo Bank.

 

Visit www.TaxesFiledFree.org or call 2-1-1 for sites or more information.

 

About the United Way of Palm Beach County:   For 85 years, United Way of Palm Beach County has been the local leader dedicated to identifying and addressing critical community issues to improve the lives of our residents.  We champion community change by strategically uniting key stakeholders and community leaders and investing in successful, sustainable nonprofits. United Way funds 80 local programs that provide lasting solutions and measurable results – from increasing graduation rates and supporting literacy to ensuring financial independence, promoting healthy lifestyles and ending hunger. When you support United Way of Palm Beach County, you are strengthening your community. To learn more call 561.375.6600 or visit www.UnitedWayPBC.org.


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