Free help available for filing tax return

Andrew J. Lanza

January 31, 2011

Volunteers for VITA, the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, will be offering free tax preparation to low-income and senior Staten Islanders at a number of locations in the upcoming weeks.

The program offers assistance to people who are 60 and older, and to people who have an income of approximately $49,000 or less. Military personnel and their families also receive free tax preparation services.

Taxpayers should bring with them proof of identification, including a Social Security card; wage and earnings statements (W-2 Form) from all employers, interest statements from banks, a copy of last year's tax return, if available, and other relevant information about income and expenses.

If applicable, a person should also bring proof of foreign status if applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Volunteers have completed training to be tax preparers, including an IRS-certified online training and exam.

The free tax preparation services will be held at the following dates and locations:

Oakwood Heights Community Church, 345 Guyon Ave. tomorrow through April 12 on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Richmond Town Public Library, 200 Clarke Ave. Feb. 7 through April 18 on Mondays from noon to 3 p.m.

Dongan Hills Public Library, 1617 Richmond Rd., Feb. 7 through April 18 on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 3 through April 14 on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Todt Hill-Westerleigh Public Library, 2550 Victory Blvd. Feb 7 through April 18 on Mondays (suspended on Feb. 14) from noon to 3 p.m.

Information from the Staten Island Advance: