Free tax preparation available at United Way starting on Monday

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The Roane County United Way will offer its annual free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Preparation Assistance program starting Jan. 30.

Now in its ninth season, VITA provides free federal tax assistance and electronic filing. These services include Earned Income Tax Credit, student loan deductions and Child Tax Credit and more.

VITA offers taxpayers an alternative to have their returns prepared and e-filed by knowledgeable volunteers at no cost.

Area partners have also volunteered to offer free financial counseling, said Amy Harmon, Roane County United Way director.

“These Cash Coaches offer expertise in a variety of financial topics such as budgeting, credit counseling and banking,” she said.

“Educational materials and books are also available to the public in the waiting area — including titles such as ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Finance’ and ‘Financial Peace Revisited’ by Dave Ramsey,” Harmon added.

The service will be offered in the United Way office adjacent to the Roane County Rescue Squad at 2735 Roane State Hwy., Midtown.

Initial hours of operation are from 2 to 7 p.m. Jan. 30-Feb. 2. After the first week, volunteers will be on hand from 1 to 4 p.m. each Monday and Thursday from Feb. 6-April 12, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 13 and 16.

Luminary United Methodist Church is also hosting a VITA site for South of the River residents. Call 376-7040 for hours and an appointment.

Taxpayers are asked to bring photo identification; Social Security cards for themselves and all dependents; all pertinent income forms, such as W-2, and 1099; information for other income and all deductions and credits; and a copy of last year’s tax return.

“The Roane County United Way thanks the volunteers and supporters who help make this program possible,” Harmon said. “Great appreciation also goes to the Walmart Foundation, which provided a grant for the 2012 VITA season.”

Call Harmon at 882-7711 for details.