Tax preparation services can cost $200 to $300, which can be a burden on low-income families, says Wil Golden of the Macon County Extension office.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 6, free income tax preparation services are provided to people and families making less than $60,000. The service is provided by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Macon County, in partnership with the Alabama Asset Building Coalition and the Internal Revenue Service.

IRS trained and certified volunteers provide tax-preparation services at the Macon County Extension office located at 207 N. Main Street, Tuskegee. Appointments are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday by calling 334-727-0340.

"This year we are hoping to save tax payers in tax preparation fees,” said Golden.

"Some people who do their own taxes, even on a simple return, miss out on credits available to them just because they were not aware of them.

"If someone chooses to go to a paid preparer, they would have an additional cost to get those credits. We can assure participants, although this service is free, does not mean the quality provided is less than you would get at a paid preparer."

The free service is available through April 17. Golden said the taxes are filed electronically, so people can expect to receive their tax returns in about two weeks.

The tax preparation service is aimed at assisting families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal anti-poverty program for low-income, working families.

When you come to your appointment, make sure to bring the following with you:

•Proof of identification (photo ID)

•Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents

•An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number

•Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

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

•Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers

•Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

•All Forms 1095, Health Insurance Statements

•Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received

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

•Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check

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

•Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number

•Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements

•Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

Call and make your appointment at 334-727-0340.

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