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  • Pima County teams with United Way to offer tax assistance

    Jan 31, 2017 | Read More News
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    Pima County is again teaming with United Way to offer the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to anyone with a family income under $64,000.
     
    Taxpayers just bring in their documents, which are reviewed, scanned, and uploaded to a secure server. It usually takes about 20 minutes.  Seven to 10 days later (sometimes faster), the return is securely emailed or can be picked up at a VITA site.
     
    Tax preparerSessions are offered at seven rotating locations. (See schedule below.) It starts Feb. 7 at the Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, 400 E. 26th St. No appointments necessary and it’s first come, first served.
     
    Last year the county’s Community Services, Employment and Training Department offered the assistance to employees and Pima County One-Stop patrons. It was so successful, the department wants to expand the service to County employees, family and friends, as well as clients and the general public, said Bonnie Bazata, who directs the county’s Ending Poverty Now Program.

    “Taxes can be a headache and time-consuming,” Bazata said. “The United Way’s Valet VITA program simplifies the process while providing the highest quality service – for free. For low-income families, using VITA means avoiding financial predators, ensuring they qualify for important tax credits, and keeping all of their tax return. That is a poverty-busting formula.”
     
    Taxpayers must bring: 
    • Picture I.D. for taxpayer and spouse. Both spouses must be present to sign documents! Social Security card for EACH family member
    • Proof of income, including W2s and 1099s
    • Account and routing numbers for direct deposit of refunds 
    • Documentation for deductible expenses such as home mortgage interest or real estate taxes. 
    • Forms 5498-SA and 1099-SA for Health Savings Accounts and 1095A for Affordable Care Act.
    Taxpayers without the required documents cannot be assisted. 
     
    Curtis Stokelin, a workforce development specialist with the Tucson Urban League who is a contract employee located in the county’s Kino Service Center, said the program was “very easy and efficient,” which prompted him to recommend it to several friends.
     
    Dates and locations of events: 
    • Feb. 7-9 - Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, 400 E. 26th St. Contact: Veronica Chapp, 724-7300 
    • Feb. 14-16 - Kino One-Stop Service Center, 2797 E. Ajo Way. Contact: Murney Brown, 724-5716 
    • Feb. 21-23 - Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, Room 2110. Contact: Marcy Flanagan, 724-7931 
    • Feb. 28-March 2 - Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress. Contact: Imelda Robles, 724-2464 
    • March 7-9 - Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center, 2801 E. Ajo Way. Contact: Jorge Luquin, 724-2636 
    • March 14-16 - Las Artes Arts and Education Center, 23 W. 27th St. Contact: Elisa Garcia, 724-5050 
    • March 21-23 - Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, Room 1104. Contact: Marcy Flanagan, 724-7931 
    • March 28-30 - Rio Nuevo One-Stop Service Center, 340 N. Commerce Park Loop, Tortolita Bldg. Contact: Diana Garcia, 724-7608
    Every week, the hours will be the same: Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays Noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

    In addition, Valet VITA sessions also will be offered at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., every Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 9-March 30.  Contact: Kate DeMeester, 594-5560.

    Check eligibility at the United Way's free tax website. Direct questions to Bonnie Bazata,  724-3704.

    “We are excited to partner and bring this program to more of our employees and to the people we serve,” Bazata said. County departments that would like posters or flyers to post in their offices should contact Bazata.


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