Free Tax Preparation offered in Coweta County

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By LATINA EMERSON, The Weekly Deals

Tax season is here again, and it’s time to file your federal and state income taxes. As the costs of food, housing, transportation and other expenses remain high, many people are searching for ways to keep their hard-earned dollars in their bank account.

When filing their income taxes, Coweta County residents can save money by taking advantage of free tax preparation services. This tax season, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program and the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program are offering free tax preparation services to local residents. Learn how to take advantage of these complimentary services:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation service. Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code, according to the organization’s website.

While the program is aimed at taxpayers 50 and older, all taxpayers are welcome and AARP membership isn’t required. Volunteers will file tax returns electronically, which speeds up the time to receive refunds.

This year, Coweta residents can get assistance from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program volunteers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Central Library, 85 Literary Lane in Sharpsburg. The free tax preparation services will be offered from Feb. 6 to April 10, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Appointments are required to receive the tax services. To make an appointment, call the Central Library at 770-683-2052.

Also, for one day only, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program volunteers will be giving tax preparation assistance on Wednesday, March 13 at the A. Mitchell Powell, Jr. Public Library, 25 Hospital Road in Newnan. This service will be offered on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call the A. Mitchell Powell, Jr. Public Library at 770-253-3625.

Prior to the appointment or walk-in visit, taxpayers are asked to visit the library locations to obtain the tax interview packet and complete the documents beforehand.

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

• Last year’s (2022) 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

For more information or to find additional tax preparation locations, visit https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax assistance to those who earn $64,000 or less annually. During tax season, seven 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 12, taxpayers can receive free tax preparation assistance from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 833-755-2179 or visit https://www.goodwillsr.org/.

To make an appointment online, click the “Schedule Now” button, select “Any Available Provider” to see all availability and then select “Choose Date And Time” to find the best appointment option. Lastly, select “Book My Visit.” Taxpayers are recommended to opt-in for text reminders.

For the appointments, taxpayers are required to bring all tax forms (W-2s and 1099s), last year’s tax return (if available), photo ID for taxpayer (and spouse if filing jointly), and Social Security cards for everyone listed on the tax return (including those for dependents). If filing jointly, both parties must be present. To receive a tax refund, taxpayers must bring bank account information (account and routing numbers).

Taxpayers are asked to arrive early to complete intake paperwork needed for the appointment.

For more information on filing taxes or to find additional locations offering free tax assistance, visit https://www.goodwillsr.org/vita. The regional Goodwill locations include Newnan, Columbus, LaGrange, Valdosta, Villa Rica, 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/ or https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-qualifying-taxpayers or call 800-906-9887.

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