Louisville Metro offering free help for filing taxes

Starting January 24, the IRS will begin accepting individual income tax returns.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tax season is underway. Starting January 24, the IRS will begin accepting individual income tax returns.

Anyone needing help with their taxes will now have the option of a free tax preparation service for eligible Louisville residents, recently announced by Mayor Fischer and community partners.

The Louisville Asset Building Coalition’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, and AARP Tax Aide programs will provide trained, IRS-certified volunteers to offer free tax services online or at select drop-off sites.

VITA is available to individuals and families who earned less than $66,000 in 2021. AARP Tax-Aide’s mission is to serve any person who comes through the door, with special attention to those 60 and older.

Mayor Fischer says VITA and AARP volunteers will also help determine if people are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal tax credit for low and middle-income working individuals and families.

Eligibility for the EITC is based on income, the number of family members and other criteria.

Working families who earn up to $57,400 may be eligible, with average credits last year of nearly $2,800. The volunteer tax preparers can also help ensure families take full advantage of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

In 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan, this credit was increased to $3,600 per child, and made fully refundable. Families also were allowed to receive half the credit in up-front monthly payments.

“But here’s the thing to remember,” Fischer said. “Eligible families who did not receive those advanced payments still can claim the full amount of the Child Tax Credit on their 2021 federal tax return, filed this year. And this includes families who don’t normally need to file a return.”

The Mayor said for many working families, free help with taxes and guidance in qualifying for the EITC and CTC can be game-changers.

“That’s money that could be used to start a savings account, buy a car, get braces for a child, pay books and college tuition, or start a college fund for their children,” Fischer said.

The city said since launching in 2001, VITA Services have helped more than 128,500 tax filers.

Last year, even in the midst of the pandemic, VITA processed nearly 7,000 returns, adding more than $9 million to the local economy, including nearly $2 million in EITC to residents.

The AARP team helped to file another 1,500 leading to over $1.8 million in federal and state refunds. Nearly 75 percent of those were for individuals 60 years and older.

This year, due to the COVID pandemic, several of the VITA sites will prepare in-person free tax filing by appointments only, and most of the sites will provide free tax filing through drop-off services. Individuals can visit getyourrefund.org to have their taxes prepared online.

To schedule an appointment for in-person tax assistance, call 502-305-0005 or visit louisvillekyvita.cascheduler.com.

The VITA free tax preparation sites are located at:

  • Americana Community Center, 4801 Southside Drive
  • Louisville Urban League, 1535 W. Broadway
  • Oldham County LaGrange Library, 308 Yager, LaGrange
  • Portland Promise Center, 1831 Baird St.
  • Salt and Light CDC/NABA, Shively City Hall, 3920 Dixie Highway.
  • Sun Valley Community Center, 6505 Bethany Lane
  • United Crescent Hill Ministries, 150 State St.
  • Wesley House Community Services, 5114 Preston Hwy.

For more details, including days and hours of drop off services and VITA locations, visit https://labcservices.org.

Also, visit the website for information about a free service for others interested in filing their taxes online.

Volunteers can visit MyFreeTaxes.com to access free software programs offered in partnership by United Way Worldwide and TaxSlayer. LABC is proud to be a member of the Tax Time Allies and has received funding from the Intuit Freedom Foundation to increase access to VITA and free software programs.

AARP Tax Aide opens the first week of February, operating at nine sites by drop-off appointments only. For future updates including online filing options, visit http://www.aarp-tax-aide-lou.org.

To help preparers accurately determine EITC eligibility and prepare returns, individuals should bring:

  • Picture ID and Social Security cards for everyone listed on the return
  • Copy of 2020 tax return with all attachments and schedules
  • W-2s and 1099s from your employers
  • Other 1099s for interest, dividends, state tax refund or other income
  • Form 1099-G for any unemployment compensation received during the year
  • 1095-A for health insurance
  • 1098 for education credit, plus a detailed financial statement from the school
  • Bank account number and routing number for direct deposit as well as savings account number (if applicable)
  • If you do not have a bank account, we can help you open a Bank On certified account.
  • Childcare information, including Provider ID and actual amounts paid
  • Summarized list of other income/expenses for those who itemize or are self-employed
  • Additional tax information that may be required

Masks are required at all VITA sites.

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