Save Money, Use Volunteer Services for Tax Filing

man sitting in fron of computer looking at papers

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax preparation for individuals and families whose incomes are $55,000 or less. IRS certified volunteers file the returns electronically and can complete both federal and state forms.  While sites have some restrictions, limiting what returns will be considered in scope, consumers who do qualify can save an average $114.
VITA sites and phone numbers in Extension Areas 14 and 19 are:
      Wayne County Extension & Outreach site located in Corydon –                       641-872-1755
       United Way of Wapello County sites located in Ottumwa and Fairfield            641-682-1264       
       United Way of Mahaska County site located in Oskaloosa –                          641-672-1169
       Poweshiek County Extension & Outreach site located in Grinnell – 641-623-5188
      Jasper County RSVP  site located in Newton – 211
Changes in tax law have eliminated the 1040A and 1040EZ forms. The qualification income for the refundable child tax credit has increased. The 1040 form has a new configuration.  Having a trained volunteer check your work, if you typically file your own return, before submitting can help identify changes you have missed.  One clue where there may be an error is a large difference between last year’s return and the 2018 return.
Refunds are good ways to reduce outstanding debt. Setting aside part of your refund for onetime expenses, real estate taxes, car registrations, etc., can help build financial wellbeing.    Your tax refund could be a way to reduce the pressure to set aside part of every paycheck to meet those payments.  Families who qualify for the refundable child tax credit could create a spending account specifically for the child’s needs.  Items to consider are school supplies, registrations, special events, activity fees, etc. 
When your income is adequate to cover occasional expenses or other special events throughout the year, a tax refund can be saved for post-secondary education, retirement, or major purchases. 


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