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VITA - volunteer income tax assistance

Howard County’s first Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site will be open throughout the 2012 tax season. 

Like other VITA sites across the country, the Howard County site will offer free tax assistance preparation to most taxpayers who earned up to $49,000 in 2011.  In addition to free tax return preparation, the site will offer free electronic filing. Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper — even faster, when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.

WHERE: 

     Howard County VITA

     North Laurel Community Center

     9411 Whiskey Bottom Road

     Laurel, MD 20723

WHEN: 

     January 18 to April 14, 2011

HOURS: 

     Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 8 pm

     Saturdays from 9am to 3 pm

PAPERWORK NEEDED: 

  • Photo IDs for taxpayers
  • Social Security cards for taxpayers and all depdendants 
  • Last year’s Federal and State tax returns
  • All W2s, 1099s (interest, dividends, pensions, IRA disbursements, stock sales, etc.)
  • Social Security or Railroad Retirement statements
  • Alimony received or paid for the year
  • If Married Filing Separately, spouse’s SSN ( you must also know whether your spouse is itemizing deductions)
  • Concise list of expenses if you wish to itemize
  • Property tax records
  • Estimated tax payments (Federal and State)
  • If you were a 1st-time home buyer in 2010, you will need to know the purchase price and date of purchase.

Please note: Our tax counselors are volunteers who are trained only to do simple returns for those with low to moderate incomes.  We will not be able to prepare returns involving businesses with employees, complicated K-1s, rentals, or an extensive list of stock sales.

Appointments are encouraged!  Please call 410-313-0386 to make, change or cancel an appointment; or to learn more about VITA.

Financial Education Classes - Check out this schedule of programs that will be held during many of the days and times the VITA site is open and come to both!  

Volunteer For VITA

In preparation for the site’s opening, the County is seeking volunteers to serve as tax preparers, quality reviewers, greeters and office staff.  Volunteer tax preparers are trained to help with special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Training and certification for volunteer tax preparers are offered free and sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service. No prior tax preparation or accounting experience is required.  For more information, review our VITA Volunteer Fact Sheet. Residents interested in volunteering should contact the site coordinator by e-mail at vita@howardcountymd.gov or by telephone at 410-313-0386.