By Colin Foster
MIAMI COUNTY — Filling out your own tax return information can be taxing work.
But there are people in the area to help you with that.
AARP Tax-Aide, in partnership with the IRS, will start offering free tax preparation and e-filing on Feb.1 and continue through April 15.
Tax-Aide has two sites in Troy. Here’s a list of the sites and hours:
• Troy Senior Citizens Center, 133 N. Market St., Troy — Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., walk-in
• Troy-Miami County Library, 419 W. Main St., Troy — Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., walk-in
“It’s just the fact that I think we care,” said Jean Melvin, a former Troy City Council member, when asked on the reasons why so many volunteers sign up.
Melvin, who has been involved with this tax service for 20 years, said they have a record number of volunteers (five) at the library. She added they did close to 300 tax returns at the library last year. Past volunteers are required to take three days of classes prior to returning, while new volunteers must take five. In order to become a volunteer, they must pass an IRS certification test and an ethics exam.
“They always need people to volunteer,” Melvin said.
Tax-Aide, the country’s largest free volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service, has a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate. The program focuses on helping low-and-moderate income people, with special attention to those over the age of 60.
Taxpayers are requested to bring picture identification, Social Security cards or SSA-1099s, last year’s tax return, and all 2013 tax forms, including W-2s, 1099s, 1098s and brokerage statements.
In Tipp City, the United Way is offering My Free Taxes. The Tipp City Area United Way joined forces with Walmart Foundation, Goodwill Industries International and the National Disability Institute to launch the 2014 MyFreeTaxes program. The program is the only initiative offering free online federal and state preparation in all 50 states, and includes residents from Tipp City, Monroe and Bethel township areas.
Eligible households earning $58,000 or less a year can now go online to www.tippcityauw.org and click on the “My Free Taxes” tab to receive free federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance online. Since 2009, the program has helped millions of individual and families claim more than $8 billion dollars in tax credits and refunds.
The MyFreeTaxes program is funded by a $4.3 million dollar grant from Walmart Foundation. The partnership program works with filers to maximize their refunds and help eligible families and individuals claim valuable tax credits to help keep more money in their pockets.
The MyFreeTaxes website is powered by H&R Block. According to a press release from the Tipp City Area United Way, the MyFreeTaxes site is “an easy, fast secure federal and state filing site.” The online tool allows eligible taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes telephone and an online chat network.
MyFreeTaxes is now in its sixth year, and according to the press release, is expected to help return an estimated $2 billion this year in total tax refunds and credits, including $550 million in earned income tax credits, along with helping save $300 million in tax preparation fees. It is also anticipated that the program will help more than 182,000 people with disabilities file their taxes for free and expand knowledge of earned income tax credit.
If people seek more information, contact the Tipp City Area United Way office at (937) 669-3863 or visit the United Way website at www.tippcityauw.org.
Colin Foster may be reached at 937-440-5208 or followed on Twitter @colinfosterbg or @Troydailynews