Free Tax Preparation Assistance Offered in Coweta County

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By LaTINA EMERSON, The Weekly Deal Finder

The 2023 tax season has begun, and it’s time to start making plans to file your federal and state income taxes. Rising prices on food, gas, utilities and more are putting a strain on many wallets, so several organizations are offering ways for taxpayers to save some cash this tax season.

Local residents can get free tax preparation assistance from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program and the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Learn how to take advantage of these free services:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

Volunteers from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program will be assisting local residents this year at the Central Library and the A. Mitchell Powell, Jr. Public Library throughout tax season. Taxpayers of all ages are welcome, and it’s not necessary to be an AARP member to participate.

Free tax preparation and electronic filing will be offered every Wednesday, Feb. 1 to April 12 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Central Library, 85 Literary Lane in Sharpsburg. For more information, call 770-683-2052.

The free tax assistance will also be available every Thursday, Feb. 2 to April 13 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the A. Mitchell Powell, Jr. Public Library, 25 Hospital Road in Newnan. For more information, call 770-253-3625.

A special free filing day will be held on one Tuesday only – March 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Heard County Public Library, 564 Main Street in Franklin. For more information, call 706-675-6501.

Please note: Appointments will not be used this year. Taxpayers who would like to take advantage of the free tax preparation services are strongly encouraged to visit the library ahead of time to pick up the interview packet so they can complete the documents before coming to the library to have their taxes prepared. On the free tax preparation days, taxpayers are advised to arrive early at the library.

For the free tax preparation session, taxpayers will need to bring the following documents:

• Last year’s (2021) income tax return
• W-2 forms from all employers
• Unemployment compensation statements
• SSA-1099 form if you were paid Social Security benefits
• All 1099 forms showing interest and/or dividends and documents showing original purchase price of any sold assets/stocks
• 1099-misc. showing any miscellaneous income
• 1099-R form if you received a pension or annuity
• All forms indicating federal income tax paid
• Dependent care provider information (name, employer ID, Social Security number)
• All receipts and canceled checks if itemizing deductions
• Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax assistance to people who make $60,000 or less annually. During tax season, eight Goodwill locations in the region will offer free tax preparation assistance with IRS-certified volunteers. Appointments are required.

VITA sites are certified to prepare taxes for all U.S. states, military service members and non-U.S. citizens who have an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).

In Coweta County, the VITA site is Goodwill Thomas Crossroads at 3121 Highway 34 East in Newnan. Through April 14, taxpayers can receive free tax preparation assistance from Monday through Friday by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 833-755-2179.

Free tax help will also be available at LaGrange Goodwill at 143 Commerce Ave. in LaGrange, Ga. and the Carrollton Community Activities Center at 425 Willie North St. in Carrollton, Ga., among other locations.

For more information about regional Goodwill locations offering free tax assistance, filing options and the list of documents to bring to your appointment, visit https://www.goodwillsr.org/vita. The regional Goodwill locations include Newnan, Columbus, Tifton, Moultrie, Valdosta, LaGrange, Opelika, Ala., and Phenix City, Ala. To make an appointment at any of these locations, call 833-755-2179.

To find additional VITA sites, visit https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ and https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-qualifying-taxpayers or call 800-906-9887.

Taxpayers should bring the following documents to their appointment:

• Social Security cards (no copies) for taxpayer, spouse and all dependents
• All income documents (1095, 1098, 1099 and W-2 forms)
• Last year’s tax return (if available)
• Photo ID (no copies) for taxpayer (and spouse, if filing jointly)
• Bank account information for direct deposit

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