Goodwill offers free tax preparation services

January 12, 2011

From press release

Goodwill is expanding its services to better serve the local community, while making the tax season easy and affordable for those who qualify. They are opening two new Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites this year in Machesney Park and Sterling, in addition to their current VITA site operated in conjunction with the Center for Economic Progress in Rockford.

More than half of all taxpayers pay someone to file their tax return, an expense most people cannot afford. Yet, more than half of local residents qualify for free income tax preparation at Goodwill’s VITA sites, allowing taxpayers to receive their full refund in a timely fashion. If your family income is less than $50,000 or your individual income is less than $25,000, Goodwill can help you.

The Goodwill VITA site offers free income tax assistance to people with low-to-moderate incomes. IRS-certified volunteers will staff the sites and will assist community members in claiming any special credits and deductions they are eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Making Work Pay Credit.

Assistance with basic income tax returns will be available throughout the tax season, beginning Jan. 15 and continuing through April 15. The Rockford site is at 1907 Kishwaukee St. and will be open on a first-come, first-served basis. The hours are from 5:30-8 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays.

The Machesney Park site is at the Machesney Park Goodwill store, and will be open as an appointment-based site from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Sterling site is at the Sterling Goodwill store, and will be open as an appointment-based site from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays, and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Fridays. Call (815) 494-2936 to schedule an appointment in Machesney Park or Sterling. All information is listed on Goodwill’s website, goodwillni.org.

People who wish to use the VITA site should bring a valid picture ID, Social Security cards for all family members, wage and earning statements (W-2s) from all employers, interest statements from banks (Form 1099s), a copy of last year’s income tax return, and a blank check for direct deposit.

A VITA press conference will be held at 10 a.m., Jan. 20 at 1907 Kishwaukee St., Rockford. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I), Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R), United Way of Rock River Valley, the Center for Economic Progress, Goodwill, and the IRS will kick off the 2011 income tax season in the community.

From the Jan. 12-18, 2011 issue

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