By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
Tax season is upon us. For many people, this means having to choose between paying high fees to have their taxes prepared by a third party or attempting the filing process on their own.
To provide relief from this often daunting task, my district office is again partnering with United Way of Lancaster County to provide free income tax preparation. Appointments are available between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., now through April 15. This free service saves taxpayers the expense of tax preparation services, which average about $273.
My office, located in suite 110 at 1555 Highlands Drive in Lititz, will be one of many sites in Lancaster County offering free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). VITA is managed by United Way of Lancaster County. Taxes are prepared by community volunteers who were trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Last year VITA preparers saved taxpayers more than $3 million in fees.
Residents whose total household income in 2019 was less than $62,000 may qualify to have their local, state and federal tax forms prepared for free. In addition to the income guidelines, individuals will qualify to have their income taxes prepared free of charge if, in 2019:
• They did not receive active military pay.
• They were not a practicing clergy person.
• They did not have farm income.
• They did not have rental property income.
• They did not own a business.
• They did not have income from trading stocks or bonds.
Those documents include: Social Security cards for you, your spouse and all dependents, valid photo ID, a copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns (if available), proof of bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit (a voided check) and all applicable tax forms, including all wage and earnings statements, interest and dividend statements from banks, and any other tax related forms (tuition, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, etc.)
Interested constituents who meet the qualifications should call my office at (717) 626-1776, to schedule an appointment. Residents are reminded to bring proper documentation along with them to the office when they come for an appointment.