In the News
Free tax help is available as April 15 deadline nears
By Jenny Upchurch
April 6, 2010
QUESTION: A couple of readers left me messages over the weekend asking whether free help is still available for filing federal income taxes. In particular, will there be any help this weekend, the last before the filing deadline next week?
ANSWER: April 15 is the deadline to file for federal income tax. You can get an extension to Oct. 15 to file, but if you owe taxes, you need to pay all or some of the amount owed or face interest and penalties.
And yes, tax clinics will be open, including some this weekend.
The Nashville IRS office will be open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday to help people file taxes. The office is at 801 Broadway. IRS workers will answer questions and can arrange payment plans if you owe $25,000 or less.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites will prepare and file forms for those making less than $49,000 a year. Refunds typically will arrive in seven to 10 days, even fewer with direct deposit to a checking or savings account.
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville is one of the partners in the VITA clinics. It also has a new resource for people making $58,000 or less, a free online filing tool. Access it through www.unitedwaynashville.org/taxes.
AARP has Tax-Aide sites for those 60 and older.
What's new this year
People who worked last year need to correctly fill out the new Schedule M to make sure they get the Making Work Pay Tax Credit of $400 for individuals or $800 for joint filers.
Many people already received this by having less money withheld from their paychecks. But they still need to fill out Schedule M.
People who file Form 1040EZ will do a worksheet for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, not Schedule M.
Retirees who worked should fill out Schedule M and be sure to include the $250 that most received last year through Social Security, veterans benefits or railroad retirement as part of the calculation. Not sure if you received that? Call IRS toll-free at 1-866-234-2942 or visit IRS.gov and use the online application, "Did I Receive a 2009 Economic Recovery Payment?"
Some filers also will be able to claim credits through the federal stimulus for buying a house or new car, making home energy improvements or paying college costs.
Dan Boone of the IRS office in Nashville has other tips for last-minute filers:
File electronically to avoid errors and get tax benefits from the federal stimulus. Most can e-file free through Free File at irs.gov. Making payments electronically is safe and secure.
If you file a paper return, double-check the math and Social Security numbers, and make sure forms are signed and all schedules and attachments are included.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit irs.gov. You can download tax forms or order them toll-free at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Some forms are also available at IRS offices and public libraries.
For information on the VITA clinics for low-income people, go to United Way of Metropolitan Nashville's Web site, unitedwaynashville.org, or call 211.
For information on AARP Tax-Aide clinics, go to www.aarp.org/money/ and click on the link for the AARP Tax-Aide Site Locator.
To find a tax clinic location, go to Tennessean.com and look for ACTION LINE. There will be locations for tax sites. Plus, the link will tell you what to bring to fill out and complete a form.
Article by The Tennessean. ::Link:: to story at tennessean.com.