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VITA, AARP offer free assistance filing taxes

JEFF KEELING • Feb 1, 2007 at 8:27 AM

Seniors, moderate-income and low-income taxpayers have several options for tax preparation, and none of them costs a dime, IRS spokesman Dan Boone says.

Boone says the Internal Revenue Service encourages anyone who is eligible to use the free services offered by the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP Tax-Aide programs. The VITA sites are open to anyone with income under $40,000, and the AARP guidelines are similar.

Boone said taxpayers should bring all 2006 tax documents, a copy of last year's tax return, and Social Security card. Photo ID also may be requested, and both spouses must be present for joint returns.

Local AARP coordinator David Herting said many seniors who may not otherwise file will qualify for a one-time refund of at least $30 due to a discontinued telephone tax, and he encouraged seniors to take advantage of that.

Electronic filing is conducted from all the sites and usually allows taxpayers to have their refund direct-deposited to a bank account within two weeks.

AARP offers help at the following sites:

•Johnson City Public Library, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays.

•Johnson City Seniors Center, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fridays (appointment required, call 434-6237).

•Jonesborough Public Library, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Saturdays (call 753-1800 for appointments).

•Gray Public Library, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesdays (call 477-1550 for appointments).

•Clinchfield Adult Center, Erwin (call 743-5111 for information).

•Elizabethton Seniors Center (call 543-4362 for information).

Herting can be reached at 928-0350 for more information on the AARP sites.

VITA sites include:

•Kingsport Public Library, 400 Broad St., Mondays and Fridays, 9:15 a.m. until 1 p.m.

•South Central Kingsport Community Development Weed and Seed, 301 Louis St., time to be announced.

•Sullivan County Public Library, 1655 Blountville Blvd., Blountville, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays.

•Elizabethton Board of Education office, 804 Watauga Ave., 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturdays.

•Elizabethton Public Library, 201 N. Sycamore St., 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

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