(Source: Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.) - Illinois residents who earned less than $50,000 in 2011 may qualify for free tax preparation help.
The Gateway EITC Community Coalition is offering free tax help to households who qualify and the first workshops will begin Saturday. No appointments are necessary for the Saturday workshops.
The assistance focuses on individuals or families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a federal tax credit designed to help people increase their financial stability. The coalition estimates that 58 percent of low- to moderate-income families or working poor in this community pay an average of $267 for tax preparation. This results in an additional combined financial drain of more than $11 million for these local families.
For information about who qualifies for the free help, locations, dates, and documents needed, call the United Way at 211 or (800) 427-4626. Weekday locations are available and can be found online at www.gecc.us.
Volunteers can prepare tax forms 1040; schedule B,C with a $10,000 limit; EICandR; form 1040-V; form 1040ES; form 2441; form 8863 and form 8812.
Taxpayers must bring the following documents:
* All W-2s and 1099s
* Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, ITIN, for all family members
* Valid picture ID for taxpayer and spouse, which can be a driver’s license or state ID or passport
* Copy of 2010 tax return
* 1098 or real estate tax receipt
* Proof of unemployment compensation
* Copy of a voided check or bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit
* Proof of child care expenses
* If married and filing jointly, then both spouses must be present to sign paperwork
* Parcel number (Illinois homeowners only)
Workshops will be held on Saturdays at the following times and locations:
* East St. Louis at the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 5803 Belmont Ave. Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 21 and 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25; March 3, 10, 17 and 31 and April 7 and 14.
* East Alton at the Lewis and Clark Bethalto Community Education Center at 1136 Airline Drive. Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 21 and 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25; March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and April 7 and 14.
* Edwardsville at the Edwardsville Public Library at 112 S. Kansas. Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 and March 3 and 10.
* Fairmont City at the Family Development Center at 1045 State St. Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25; March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and April 7 and 14.
* Centreville at St. Vincent DePaul at 3718 State St. Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25; March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and April 7 and 14.
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Source: Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.