It’s tax season, but the Internal Revenue Service is offering a service to make the ordeal of tax preparation less stressful.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation for qualifying taxpayers.
The program “offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns,” according to the IRS website.
IRS-certified volunteers are on call to provide free basic tax return preparation.
The agency also has a program called Tax Counseling for the Elderly. It is a free program that offers tax help for people 60-over and guides taxpayers through questions about pensions and retirement-related issues, according to the IRS website.
Kevin Gullett, chief financial officer for Leavenworth public schools, coordinates the VITA program locally. He said approximately 400 people take advantage of the program each year.
The service is being offered at six locations in the Leavenworth area. Here are the locations and details:
– Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St., 913-682-5666, 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday in February and March
– Catholic Charities, 716 N. 5th St., 913-651-8060, by appointment only, through April 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
– Leavenworth County Council on Aging, 1830 Broadway St., 913-684-0777, age 60-over, by appointment only, through March 30, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
– Linwood Community Library, 19649 Linwood Road, 913-684-0777, age 60-over, by appointment only, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 2
– Basehor Community Library, 1400 158th St., 913-684-0777, age 60-over, by appointment only, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 8
– Tonganoxie Public Library, 303 S. Bury St., 913-684-0777, age 60-over, by appointment only, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 16
People wanting to participate in the service should bring all tax statements, information about other income, a copy of last year’s return, proof of account for direct deposit of refund, Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification notices, proof of identification, day care expenses, proof of foreign status, among other things.
“The library is happy to be a host site,” said Cindy McGuire, programming and marketing director at the Leavenworth Public Library. “It adds another service we have for the community.”
For more information, contact representatives at the participating sites.