I know it's just what you want to do, spend your Saturday with folks from the Internal Revenue Service.
But this time, it might actually be to your advantage.
The IRS will open more than 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers on March 21 to help eligible taxpayers prepare their taxes or get other IRS help. The IRS is hoping this will make things easier for taxpayers, since the Centers are not normally open on weekends.
In addition, community groups that partner with the IRS are planning to staff around 1,000 sites during that same time Saturday. Two of the more popular programs are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.
Find your location: The general hours of operation for this special Saturday tax session are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, but some offices may be open at different times. You can check the locations and specific hours at the IRS's Super Saturday Web page.
You also can get location information by calling toll-free 1-800-906-9887.
If you can't make it into a Taxpayer Assistance Center or affiliated group's program, IRS personnel will be taking calls on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1-800-829-1040.
Help requirements: In order to get help in completing your tax return, you must earn $42,000 or less. If, however, you need IRS assistance on any other matter, there is no income limit.
If you qualify and want IRS help completing your tax return, you need to bring:
- Valid driver's license or photo ID, for yourself and your spouse if you file a joint return
- Social Security cards for all persons listed on the return
- Dates of birth for all persons listed on the return
- All income statements, such as W-2 and 1099 forms, Social Security, unemployment or other benefits statements, self-employment records and any documents showing taxes withheld
- Dependent child care information: payee’s name, address and Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number
- Proof of account at financial institution for direct debit or deposit, such as a canceled or voided check or bank statement
- Prior year tax return (if available)
- Any other pertinent documents or papers
Help for military filers, too: While military installations are not specifically mentioned in connection with the upcoming Super Saturday, the military has a strong VITA system. Military-based VITA site workers are trained to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and Earned Income Tax Credit guidelines.
In addition, the Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors and guardsmen, as well as their families worldwide, are eligible for free tax reparation assistance at offices within their installations.
One of my colleagues on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel was involved in the program at Fort Hood up in Killeen. If the other military VITA volunteers are even just a fraction as capable and dedicated as Rick, then I know the servicemen and women are getting good tax advice.