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Free tax return preparation for low income taxpayers

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It's tax season again, and many taxpayers will find they are too overwhelmed to complete the forms themselves.

Fortunately there is help for low-income taxpayers. The IRS sponsors a free service called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Alexandria Technical College has been a part of this program for many years and continues the service this year.

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Alexandria Technical College accounting students and other community volunteers are specially trained to help low income tax payers with the new recovery credits, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Dependent Care Credit, and Minnesota property tax refunds. Every return is quality checked and reviewed by instructors and supervisors.

Qualifying taxpayers must earn less than approximately $35,000 and not have any complex issues such as owning rental property, owning a business, multiple state income, or military income. All returns are electronically filed to improve accuracy and speed up any refund that may be due.

The VITA site is located in Room 703 of the Office and Information Technology Center at Alexandria Technical College (located on Jefferson Street closest to the recycling center). It is open every Tuesday and Thursday through April 8, except on March 17 and 19. Hours are 4 to 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Items you should bring with you:

•Photo ID.

•Birthdates and social security numbers for yourself, spouse and dependents.

•Wage and earning statement(s) (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R).

•Interest and dividend statements (1099).

•Voided check.

•Amount paid to daycare with provider's ID number.

•Rent or property tax statements.

•Education costs.

•Charitable contributions receipts.

•Last year's return.

If you have questions, leave a message on the VITA answering machine at (320) 762-0221, extension 3225 or at 1-888-234-1222, extension 3225.

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