CEO Announces Tax Season Appointments

The Commission on Economic Opportunity as lead agency, in partnership with the United Way of Wyoming Valley, announces that appointment calls will officially be taken for the upcoming tax season beginning Tuesday, January 17th by calling 570-825-0968. The program is coordinated through the Luzerne County Free File Tax Coalition under the auspices of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), with assistance from the Area Agency on Aging and the Volunteer Action Center RSVP program.

Appointments will be available at the re-located CEO Mega Center 156 Amber Lane, Wilkes-Barre, in the former Rite Aid building next to the CEO Main Office, The Rose Tucker Senior Center, 145 E. Green St., Nanticoke and Hazleton, 142 South Wyoming Street.

The IRS is delaying tax refunds affecting families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit and the additional child tax credit. These delays are due to the IRS agency steps to fight identity theft and fraud. The law requires the IRS to delay the refund until February 15, but processing times will delay most of the refunds until the end of February.

Appointments can be scheduled OR availability can be made for what is called the Drop-Off method. With the drop off method, the individual must make an appointment to drop-off of all of their tax information to have the return prepared and then picked up the following week. Drop-off appointments will be accepted on specific days and will consist of a quick 10-minute appointment to verify the necessary information is available for tax preparation. This alleviates the taxpayer having to sit and wait while tax returns are prepared. Some of the interview paperwork may be filled out at home.

The VITA Program offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled and information regarding their Affordable Care Act participation, if eligible. Locations for many of this year’s VITA sites have changed. All locations offer free electronic filing for Federal and State tax returns. Local and tax rebate forms of people who get their taxes prepared must be filed by the individual through the mail. They are not able to be e-filed.

Taxes will be prepared at the following locations by appointment only:

The Wilkes-Barre Mega Center

(Note Address Change)

Appointment Calls 570-825-0968, 156 Amber Lane (former Rite Aid building), Wilkes-Barre

Rose Tucker Senior Center-Nanticoke

Appointment Calls 570-825-0968

145 East Green Street, Nanticoke

Commission on Economic Opportunity

St. Gabe’s Building/Hazleton

Appointment S Calls 570-825-0968 142 South Wyoming Street Hazleton, Pa. 18201

The following documentation will be required at your appointment:

For Income Taxes:

To have your tax return(s) prepared at a VITA site you need to bring the following information with you:

Proof of identification –Picture ID (If filing Married Filing Jointly,

both spouses must be present)

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

Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration OR Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents

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

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

Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

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

Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers or a blank check 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) if appropriate

Any healthcare proof forms you may have received in the mail.

For Property/Rent Rebate:

2015: 1. Copy of last year’s rebate records.

2016: 1. Property tax receipts 2. Rent receipts.

VITA volunteers are unable to complete complicated tax returns and may refer you to a paid professional. Due to the popularity of this program, phone lines will be busy so please leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached in the event you must leave a message. A volunteer will get back to you as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.