Updated February 23 at 11:56am
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1/22/11 04:31PM
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Free Tax Help Available at the Education Exchange Throughout Tax Season

The Education Exchange, a non-profit provider of adult education and job skills training programs throughout southern Rhode Island, will offer free tax preparation and filing through the Volunteer …

The Education Exchange, a non-profit provider of adult education and job skills training programs throughout southern Rhode Island, will offer free tax preparation and filing through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Initiative. IRS trained volunteers will prepare and file tax returns (including e-filing) for those with incomes of less than $49,000. Volunteers may help with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

The goal of the VITA/EITC Initiative is to ensure that working Rhode Islanders, earning less than $49,000 annually, access free tax services to receive the money they are due in refunds and tax credits. Last year, the Education Exchange, along with other VITA/EITC Initiative sites supported by the United Way of Rhode Island, provided a financial benefit of nearly $13 million for more than 7,400 working Rhode Islanders. The figure represents the value of tax refunds and credits that were claimed as well as the value of the tax preparation services that were provided to participating taxpayers.

The VITA/EITC Initiative will be held at the Education Exchange headquarters in Building C of the Lily Pads Professional Center at 33 North Road in Peace Dale from January 25 – April 14, 2011.

The schedule for tax assistance will be:

January 25 & 27, 2011: Tuesday & Thursday, 3:00-7:00PM

February 1-March 24, 2011: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays, 3:00-7:00PM

March 29-April 14, 2011: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:00-7:00PM

Those interested in having their taxes prepared at the Education Exchange are strongly encouraged to call 401-783-0293 to make an appointment. Taxpayers participating in the VITA/EITC Initiative should plan to have the following information/materials available for their appointment:

• Proof of identification

• Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration

• Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents

• Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

• Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

• Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers

• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

• A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available

• Bank routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit

• Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number)

• Education expenses

• To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program at the Education Exchange will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into one's bank account.

For more information about the VITA program, visit the IRS web site at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html. Call 401-783-0293 or email info@EdExRI.org to learn more about the VITA/EITC Initiative at the Education Exchange and to make an appointment. Visit www.EdExRI.org for more information about the Education Exchange and its programs, including: GED Preparation and testing, Transition to College & Career, ESL & EL Civics, computer training, Microsoft Certification, work readiness training, and the VITA/EITC Initiative.

About the Education Exchange

The Education Exchange was founded in 1978 to offer literacy training, skills development, and GED preparation and testing to adults throughout southern Rhode Island. With sites in Peace Dale, Westerly, and North Kingstown, the Education Exchange provides education and training to help adults with diverse experiences and abilities gain the critical skills necessary to earn a high school equivalency, secure and retain employment, pursue postsecondary education and training, and participate more fully in the community. Programs at the Education Exchange include: Adult Basic Education and Literacy, GED preparation and testing, ESL and EL Civics, Transition to College & Career, Work Readiness Training, Pre-CNA Training, Microsoft Certification, computer instruction, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). More information is available by calling 401-783-0293 or at www.EdExRI.org.

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