GateWay to offer free tax preparation

:
Dec 5, 2013, 8:15 a.m.

A new year brings with it new goals, perhaps a few new pounds, and a gentle reminder that taxes are due in April. Thanks to a new program at GateWay Community College, there will be some free assistance with preparing taxes.

Through the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) VITA – Volunteer Individual Tax Assistance – program, seven GateWay Business students will undergo training to complete and file tax returns.

Free tax assistance services will be provided on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as on select Saturdays -- Feb. 1, Feb. 8, and April 12 -- starting Feb. 1 through April 12.  The assistance will be operated from a Library classroom. 

As a full-service provider, the college will prepare and file federal and Arizona state returns for free. Among the GateWay volunteers, there are students who speak English and Spanish in order to better serve the community needs. Clients need to meet a certain income cap to qualify for the services.

GateWay also will provide self-service services (FSA - Facilitated Self Assistance) on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as the Fridays and Saturdays noted above, in a Study Room in the Library.  The FSA designation means individuals will be allowed to prepare their federal and state returns for free on campus.  VITA Intern Students will be available to answer questions should students or community members have questions.

Items You Need to Bring

To have your tax return prepared at a VITA site, you need to bring the following information with you:

  • Proof of identification – Picture ID
  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
  • Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

The Library is located in the Integrated Education Building (IE) in the center of campus at GateWay Community College, 108 N. 40th Street, Phoenix AZ 85034. For more information, please contact Annette Torrey, accounting faculty at (602) 286-8583.