VITA free tax prep available for county residents

Community Support Services in Port Clinton will again offer its free tax preparation services starting on Jan. 27. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free tax preparation and electronic filing services for Ottawa County residents.

Residents with a combined household income of $66,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for the service. Last year, VITA volunteers helped 1,272 individuals and families file their taxes and receive $1.2 million in refunds, including $406,601 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Community Support Services (CSS) recruits and trains community volunteers to receive tax certification from the Internal Revenue Service. Volunteers staff VITA sites to assist with program eligibility and to determine if filers qualify for tax credits, such as the EITC and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Last year, CSS expanded the VITA program to help more individuals and families get on the path to financial stability. VITA operates in local community agencies to make free tax prep accessible. On average, an average American taxpayer will spend $176 or more on tax preparation fees. AS a result, VITA is critical to individual with fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and those struggling to make ends meet.

VITA volunteers in Ottawa County will be available by appointment only at the Sutton Center, 1848 E. Perry St., Suite 60, Port Clinton. Volunteers will be preparing tax forms from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Sandusky County residents can get the same free tax preparation services at the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, 127 S. Front St., Fremont on Monday through Wednesday from 9:15 a.m.-3 p.m., also by appointment.

Resident taxpayers should bring the following to their appointment: A government-issued photo ID (spouses must bring an ID and be present to file jointly); original Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification for each family member on the return; a W-2, 1099 or other income statements; expense documents, including childcare receipts, education expenses and property taxes; If self-employed, all receipts and community and business mileage; A 1095-A, -B or -C health care statement; direct deposit information and last year’s tax return.

For more information about VITA, contact Cole Hatfied at 419-734-949 or chatfield@tdhenterprises.com.

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