Free Income Tax Preparation in Will County
The Will County Low Income Tax Assistance Coalition (LITAC) is teaming with Silver Cross Hospital to provide free federal and state income tax preparation services this February. This service is open to individuals and families earning up to $51,000 in 2012. Qualified participants will be able to have their federal and state income tax returns filed electronically at no cost.
Services will be provided on February 9, from 9 am to 1 pm, and is open to the public. No appointment is necessary.
Silver Cross Hospital is located 1890 Silver Cross Blvd, in New Lenox, Illinois. Patrons should enter through Pavilion A and proceed to the conference center. For questions regarding the sessions at Silver Cross Hospital, please contact the Spanish Community Center at 815.727.3683. Do not contact the hospital directly.
The Will County LITAC partners with the IRS and sponsors free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. All volunteer preparers are certified in tax preparation through the IRS to provide free and accurate return preparation for qualified taxpayers in the community.
Those who cannot attend the session at Silver Cross Hospital are invited to schedule an appointment with any of LITAC’s three VITA sites:
- Child Care Resource & Referral, located at 801 N. Larkin Ave #202, Joliet, IL (call 815.741.1163 x 253 to make an appointment).
- Spanish Community Center, 309 N. Eastern Ave., Joliet, IL 815.727.3683 (call 815.727.3683 to make an appointment).
- Will County Center for Community Concerns, 304 N. Scott St., Joliet, IL 60432 (call 815.722.0722 to make an appointment)
Items you need to bring to the VITA/TCE sites to have your tax returns prepared:
- Proof of identification (picture ID)
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statement(s) including: Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Why is free income tax preparation necessary for our community? Andrew VanSingel, Director of the Low Income Tax Clinic at Prairie State Legal Services and Chair of Will County LITAC, states that “over two-thirds of taxpayers use a paid preparer, and pay $200 on average to have their returns prepared, which does not account for any additional fees. By providing a free alternative, the Will County LITAC allows taxpayers to claim the credits they are entitled to receive and keep more of their refunds in their pocket.”
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one such credit. For the upcoming filing season, the EITC ranges from $464 for people without children to a maximum of $5,751 for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. In 2010, over 1 million taxpayers in Illinois claimed the EITC for a total of $2.26 billion. Nationwide, 26.8 million taxpayers claimed the EITC for a total of $59.5 billion.
The IRS estimates that one-third of the EITC-eligible population changes annually as taxpayers’ financial, marital, and parental status change. The IRS also estimates that one of every five taxpayers do not claim the EITC either because taxpayers do not claim the credit on their return, or they do not file a return at all.
The Will County Low Income Tax Assistance Coalition (LITAC) is committed to help low and moderate income individuals and families in Will County achieve financial stability by providing free income tax preparation and financial education. By partnering with commercial and non-profit agencies in the community, the coalition is able to provide these services at no cost to the individuals and families it serves.