Free Tax Prep Clinic Available At Seymour Library

Jackson County United Way, in partnership with the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour, has announced the tenth year of the free tax preparation program in Jackson County.
The program runs until Sunday, April 12, at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.
This program provides free income tax preparation services to hundreds of families and individuals in the county with a household income of $66,000 or less. The Free Income Tax Assistance Program, or FITA, has helped 2,863 Jackson County residents reclaim over $2.3 million over the last ten years.
Tonja Couch, Executive Director added, “the program has grown over the years, to be more than a free tax preparation service, as volunteers focus on sharing information with residents that will stabilize their financial footing for the new year.”
This year, there are a few changes to the program to increase confidentiality and expand capacity to serve more residents. Long-time volunteers and IRS Certified Preparers, Crystal Jones and Jennifer Harris, joined Couch in early summer to benchmark another community’s Free Tax Prep sites to see what improvements could be made and how to expand the number of people served. Jones was eager to utilize her skills sets in process management and built a plan to increase the number of residents served, as well as provide a new drop-and-go service and increase the financial wellness education residents receive.
One part of the change was to provide a pilot on-site tax preparation program at three local employers. Aisin USA, Excel Mfg, and Home Products had employees that took part in the free service provided by United Way volunteers. Jones said, “We knew by focusing our efforts early, we could potentially save some employees from using a rapid refund preparer and save nearly $300-400. We are excited with our pilot year; we were able to serve ten taxpayers at these sites.”
Another change to the program this year includes how residents are asked to schedule their tax preparation appointment. Residents can make an appointment online at: www.jacsy.org/free-taxes or by calling 812-522-5450 extension 1.
An influx of calls means that residents may have to leave a voicemail; these messages will be returned as soon as possible in the order they are received to help schedule appointments.
The final change is focused on making the tax preparation process simple, Jones explains, “Once a resident comes into the library, completes the basic paper work, and meets one-on-one with an IRS certified tax preparer, they can leave their tax documents and pick up the finalized preparation another day, not having to wait around at the library. These drop-and-go services will prove to be a much more efficient way to run the FITA program and keep residents happy.” She also noted that residents can also prepare and file their own taxes online at www.myfreetaxes.com.
In addition to the free tax filing help, tax filers will be offered basic financial wellness education, so the benefits will last long past tax filing season. “Watching taxpayers access their money and make positive changes in their financial health is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as a volunteer,” said Jones.
Required items for tax filing assistance
•Household income of $66,000 or less per year
•Government issued Photo ID
•If filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign required forms
•Social Security Card for each family member
•Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
•Any W-2, 1099 & 1098 forms and all other income information
•A copy of last year’s tax return
•Deduction and credit information
•Healthcare coverage information (Form 1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C, as applicable)
•Banking information for direct deposit including bank routing and account numbers