Free income tax assistance program announces document drop-off details, COVID-19 pandemic adjustments

Free income tax assistance program announces document drop-off details, COVID-19 pandemic adjustments

(Salina, Kan.) -- Salina’s free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program announces its new location and program changes from prior years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by Salina Area United Way, the VITA program has implemented processes designed to protect the health and safety of trained volunteers and clients.

The new VITA location is the Salina Area United Way office, 113 N. 7th Street, where clients can pick up forms in the organization’s lobby to get the process started.  Only one individual or one family, all wearing masks, will be allowed in the volunteer-staffed lobby at all times.  Clients may complete the Intake Form in their vehicle at the parking site or at home.  Detailed instructions on required identification documents are printed on the forms, which must be returned to the United Way lobby no later than March 29, 2021. 

Once each client’s identity is confirmed, volunteers will make photocopies and safely store them with the required tax return documents in a secure space, complete the individual’s tax return and phone him or her with further instructions.  Clients then will return to the VITA office, review, and sign their returns, and retrieve all personal documents.  VITA volunteers will electronically file each return with the Internal Revenue Service.

VITA services are for moderate and low-income individuals and families (generally $56,000 annual income and below). VITA's IRS-certified volunteers can complete basic federal and Kansas tax returns, including figuring Earned Income and Homestead tax credits.

The Salina VITA program (exclusively drop off) begins Monday, February 1, and ends March 29, 2021. Drop-off and pick-up hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Mondays; 12 noon to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays.

Additional VITA volunteers are needed.  Individuals interested in helping may contact the Salina Area United Way for this rewarding experience in assisting others.

More information about the VITA program is available by phoning (785) 827-1312.

Following is a general list of required documents for VITA assistance:

Government-issued photo identification cards for both the taxpayer and spouse (if joint return) and any dependents born on or before December 31, 2020.

Social Security Cards, or Social Security number verification letters or Individual Tax Payer Identification number letters for each taxpayer and dependent on the return. Birth dates for all individuals listed on the tax return. Contact phone number for questions, review process appointments, and pick-up date.

Form 1095 for the Affordable Care Act medical insurance information. Wage and earning statements including forms W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc. 1099-NEC for all 2020 employers. Tax documents related to gambling wins, pensions, IRA distributions, tuition payments, and Social Security forms. Interest and dividend statements, bank account, and routing numbers.

Record of stimulus payments received in 2020, and Economic Recovery Payment Forms 1444 and 1444-B if received. Day-care expenses and day-care provider information.  Real estate tax and personal property tax statements.  Documents related to itemization if relevant.  Homestead Tax Credit required owner’s property tax real estate tax receipts.  Copy of 2020 federal and state tax returns are helpful.

VITA volunteers cannot help taxpayers who have rental property, farm income, royalties, sale of business property, moving expenses, employee business expenses, military pay, claim depreciation, or have a loss on Schedule C (self-employment).

The mission of the Salina Area United Way is to Strengthen Our Community. For more information about the Salina Area United Way, visit www.unitedwaysalina.org. To learn more about volunteering, call (785) 827-1312.