The AARP Foundation and the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) are sponsoring free tax preparation services from a number of area sites.
CEO, the lead agency designated by the Internal Revenue Service for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Luzerne County, offers free help to people who make $54,000 or less a year and need assistance in preparing their tax returns.
Tax help will be offered by appointment only on Feb. 23; March 2, 9, 16 and 23, and April 6 from St. Gabriel Apartments, 142 S. Wyoming St., Hazleton. Drop-off applications will also be accepted by appointment, according to Diane Connolly, who helps oversee the program.
To schedule, call 800-822-0359 or 570-825-0968.
The program is coordinated through the Luzerne County Free File Tax Coalition with assistance from the Area Agency on Aging and the local Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
The AARP to take advantage of the service.
Tax-Aide volunteers will offer assistance from the Butler Twp. Community Center, 411 W. Butler Drive, Drums, Mondays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call Kathy weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at 570-788-4881. Do not call the Butler Twp. municipal building to schedule an appointment.
Beaver Meadows Borough Hall, 100 E. Broad St., will be open Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon for tax preparation services. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 570-455-7841.
Tax-Aide volunteers will also prepare returns from the M.S. Kirby Memorial Library, 35 Kirby Ave., Fairview Twp., on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments must be made by calling 570-690-1418 on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Taxpayers should bring photo identification; Social Security cards for taxpayer, spouse and dependents; a copy of their 2016 tax return; and copies of any 1099s, W-2 income statements, interest or dividend statements and Social Security statements. If filing a joint return, both taxpayers must be present.
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The deadline to file taxes is April 17.
Connolly noted that volunteer opportunities are available through VITA. All training materials are provided. Introductory training is provided. Tax preparation certification may take over 20 hours to complete.
For more information, call Colleen Garrison at 570-455-0661, ext. 220 or email cgarri
-- JILL WHALEN
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