Free tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income households in Hancock County will be held at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library beginning Feb. 3.

Qualifying households must schedule an appointment in advance by calling the United Way of Hancock County at 419-423-1433. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

Appointment availability will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was implemented locally by a group of volunteers in a grassroots effort to help low- to moderate-income households prepare and file their taxes without incurring fees for services.

“We recognize the value of this program and its volunteers for what it brings back directly to community members as well as into the community as a whole, so we are working closely with VITA team members to assist with getting the word out and scheduling appointments,” said Angela DeBoskey, CEO of United Way of Hancock County.

“While in Washington, D.C., last week, I shared with Congressman Bob Latta that through this program, more than 1,600 appointments were scheduled last year, which returned $2.8 million to households in our community,” DeBoskey said. “When you add to that the volunteer hours and the savings of the waived return fees, the value of this project to this community is well over $3 million dollars in one year alone.”

VITA volunteers are certified by the IRS to prepare and file federal, state, local and school tax filing. To see a list of forms volunteers are able to process, visit https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3676bsp.pdf.

Those who wish to use this free service should bring a copy of their 2018 federal and state tax return; any forms received from the government insurance marketplace or employer sent associated with the Affordable Care Act insurance; Health Insurance Exemption Certificate; forms 1095-A, B and C, health coverage statements; Social Security cards for you, your spouse and all dependents listed on your return; state-issued photo ID; correct birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return; all wage/income forms for the tax year(s); any additional forms of income such as lottery/gambling winnings, stock/bonds, prizes and awards, scholarships and fellowships; any notices from the IRS or state tax office; bank routing numbers and account numbers if using direct deposit; child care expenses for the last year; alimony information; and tuition or student loan information.

Households earning less than $66,000 and capable of filing their own state and federal taxes online can do so by visiting MyFreeTaxes.com.

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