Tax Program Tips and Helpful Information to get Taxes done
Here are some things that may help you as you plan to come to the Senior Resource Center to get your income taxes prepared. The very first thing to understand is that we do not make appointments. Rather, we reserve blocks of time every day for people waiting in line by the door each morning. Blocks of time are only given out for that very day, not days or weeks in advance. You cannot call ahead and make a reservation. Seniors stand in line, the doors open, they get their block of time and then they can leave if they wish to run errands, then come back 20 minutes before the block of time to fill out the paperwork.
VITA hours are Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9am-4pm, Tuesday/Thursday 11am-6pm. This is of course for those who stood in line prior to 8am and received a time slot.
This is a free service provided by trained volunteers in the VITA program: VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Our main goal is to prepare and file taxes for senior citizens aged 55 and older who have very little money. We will help those who makes less than $54K per year but the program works best when we help seniors who cannot afford to pay for preparation and filing. If you would like to make a donation:
Make out your check to New Hanover County Senior Resource Center and put “VITA” in the memo section of the check. Cash donations are also welcomed.
On the first day, we do have quite a line before the front doors open at 8am. I have seen at least 72 seniors standing outside the front door, some of which arrived at 6:30am to secure their place in line. No joke. This is the case for the first 5 days or so. After that, the line goes down somewhat. We also experience long lines on the last 5 days. Please don’t wait until the last day; we have had to turn people away because all of the time slots were full, and all we can do is refer you to one of the paid services. Mid-March is the time when we have the shortest lines.
Tax preparer’s do not have access to a phone. Please turn your cellphones to vibrate.
Parking can be a problem. This will add to the already strained parking space shortage. Also, our main road in and out goes past the Hoggard High School student parking lot. It is especially hard to get through the traffic from 8am – 8:30am and 3:30pm – 4:00pm. Please watch out for student walkers and drivers during these times.
We do sell snacks (candy bars/potato chips) in the Intake room. This and donation monies go to feed our volunteers and provide a recognition luncheon at the end of tax season. Beverage service – coffee, iced tea – is a suggested $0.25 donation, and is in the Friendship Café. Lunch service is offered to seniors age 60 and older – suggested $1.50 donation – reservations are required 24 hours in advance. You can sign up with Margaret the day prior. If reservations are not made in advance, you are welcome to dine with us if there is food available.
Our Lobby can get rather full. We have seniors waiting for Medicare appointments, and at lunchtime several seniors are waiting on transportation to take them home. You may leave and come back once you have secured your block of time. If you have registered with our Center (filled out a Green Form) and are 55 or older, feel free to use our treadmills or other exercise equipment while you wait. Children are not allowed on the equipment at any time.
If you have questions about the VITA program (not specific tax questions) please call Allie at 798-6406.
LIST OF THINGS TO BRING WITH YOU:
Checking account numbers and routing numbers if you want your refund direct deposited
2016 tax return, it may help you save both money and time!
Social Security Cards for self, spouse, and all dependents
Wage Statements from all employers
Pension, Social Security and/or Railroad Retirement statements
Interest, dividend, and brokerage statements
All ACA/Obamacare statements (1095A, 1095B, 1095C)
IF YOU ITEMIZE, bring out of pocket costs for health insurance and medical expenses
IF YOU ITEMIZE, bring home mortgage interest document
IF YOU ITEMIZE, bring real estate property taxes paid in 2017