Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, sites offer free tax assistance from IRS-certified volunteers. These sites help inform tax payers of credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, that they may not have known about otherwise. In addition, they assist tax payers by providing information that can help them make wise financial decisions. For example, e-filing through a VITA site rather than obtaining a rapid refund from a paid tax preparer can save a family hundreds of dollars.
2016 Tax Season Information
The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2014 tax season on January 19, 2016 and has designated Monday, April 18, 2016 as the deadline for filing 2015 tax returns.
The IRS suggests that even if you did not receive enough income to be required to file a tax return that you may want to file because:
- You could be due a refund on Federal income tax withheld.
- You may qualify to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could be up to $6,242.
This year, the IRS is also encouraging tax payers to file electronically. Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. Here are five great reasons why you should e-file your tax return:
- Accurate and complete. E-file is the best way to file an accurate and complete tax return. The tax software does the math for you, and it helps you avoid mistakes.
- Safe and secure. IRS e-file meets strict guidelines and uses the best encryption technology. The IRS has safely and securely processed more than 1.2 billion e-filed individual tax returns since the program began.
- Faster refunds. E-filing usually brings a faster refund because there is nothing to mail and your return is less likely to have errors, which take longer to process. The IRS anticipates issuing 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into your bank account.
- Payment options. If you owe taxes, you can e-file early and set an automatic payment date anytime on or before the April 18 due date. You can pay by check or money order, or by debit or credit card. You can also transfer funds electronically from your bank account.
- E-file’s easy. You can e-file your federal return through IRS Free File, the free tax preparation program available only at IRS.gov. You can also use commercial tax software or ask your tax preparer to e-file your return. If you qualify, IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly will e-file your return for free.
Following is a list of free tax preparation sites hosted by Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition members. You can also call 1-800-906-9887 to find out about more VITA site locations near you.
Cheyenne River Reservation
Four Bands Community Fund offers free tax preparation to community members of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation from February to April every year. For more information about this service, call 605-964-3687 or visit http://fourbands.org/.
Crow Creek Reservation
Hunkpati Investments offers free tax preparation for Crow Creek families from mid-January to mid-April each year. For more information call 605–245-2148 or visit: http://hunkpati.org/asset-building/free-tax-preparation/.
Pine Ridge Reservation
Lakota Funds and the Lakota Federal Credit Union will be offering free tax preparation services for the 2016 tax season. For more information or to make an appointment, call Inez Spencer at 605-455-2500 or visit http://lakotafcu.org/news-events/events/.